Selective enzymatic modification of wool/polyester blended fabrics for surface patterning
journal contributionposted on 04.01.2019, 12:00 by Chetna PrajapatiChetna Prajapati, Edward Smith, Faith Kane, Jinsong Shen
An enzyme-based process was investigated to achieve surface patterning of fabrics as an alternative to conventional chemical processes. In the current study, the enzyme protease was employed to selectively modify a wool/polyester blended fabric to impart decorative surface effects. Controlled protease processing of the blended fabric dyed with Lanasol Blue CE enabled the degradation and removal of the dyed wool fibre component from the fabric blend, resulting in novel fading and differential fabric relief due to degradation of wool, revealing the undyed polyester component after enzyme treatment. A 38.5% weight loss was achieved, therefore 85.6% of the wool in the 45/55% wool/polyester blended fabric was removed from the structure. The activity of protease is highly specific, therefore, it caused no damage to the polyester component. The control studies led to the development of surface pattern designs using the enzyme process, achieving effects similar to current processes such as devore and discharge printing. This novel enzyme process permits the replacement of harsh chemicals used in current surface patterning processes with small doses of biodegradable enzymes.
The authors would like to thank the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) for funding the collaborative LEBIOTEX Project (AH/J002666/1) between De Montfort University and Loughborough University.
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