Imparting anti-shrink functionality to wool by individual and simultaneous application of keratinase and papain
In this study, a pure enzymatic process has been used to impart anti-shrink properties to wool using keratinase and papain applied individually and simultaneously. Both the enzymes have shown to reduce the shrinkage tendency when applied individually, but combined application results in minimum shrinkage. Along with the reduction in shrinkage tendency it is desired to keep the loss in tensile strength to a low level. It is found that the loss in tensile strength could be kept below 10%. The effect of enzyme treatment on other properties like dyeability, wash fastness, light fastness and moisture regain is also studied. SEM study shows that the maximum scale removal is obtained when both the enzymes are applied simultaneously. When the two enzymes are applied individually, papain shows higher efficacy in terms of scale removal than that with keratinase. Infrared spectrophotometric studies using FTIR show that there is no difference in the absorption bands observed in the IR spectra, thus indicating that the enzyme treated wool is not chemically altered, i.e. no new functional groups are introduced in the wool as a result of the enzyme treatment.
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