Cotton fabric functionalization to impart wrinkle free properties



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Cotton fibers are one of the most important natural fibers in the textile industry. It has a fairly good strength, softness, moisture absorbency, and flexibility. Despite its numerous advantages, cotton fabric is prone to wrinkling. Over the past few years, there is an increasing demand for cotton rich, wrinkle free fabrics. Formaldehyde based agents were the most common cross-linking agents used in the textile industry to impart wrinkle free properties to fabrics. However, due to the adverse effects of the resin treatment such as formaldehyde release, loss of fabric strength etc., there is a considerable effort to develop a product that could provide wrinkle resistance without these adverse effects. The purpose of the present study was to investigate cross-linkable compounds that are efficient and non-hazardous and have minimum or no impact on the physical properties of the fabric. First, cellulose binding modules (CBMs) were used to cross-link cellulose. CBMs were less likely to bind to cotton fabrics because of the compact arrangement of the fibers but they could be bound to fluffy substrate like cotton fibers. Further in this project, to serve as a base to our experiment, we used Dimethylurea glyoxylate (DMUG) as a cellulose cross-linker. It is the most commonly used formaldehyde free durable press agent in the textile industry. Pad-dry- cure process was used as the chemical application method. The evaluations were done mainly by performing smoothness appearance test, FTIR analysis, and wrinkle recovery angle test. In addition, strip test was used to measure the breaking force and elongation of the treated fabrics. In this research, simple amino acids (Glycine and Serine) were used as cellulose cross-linkers. However, binding of these amino acids to cellulose seemed to be weak and the treatment did not withstand repeated home laundering. The fabrics treated with Glycine and Serine showed poor wrinkle recovery performance and poor smoothness appearance. However, they could be used enhance the hand of the fabrics treated with wrinkle free agent. Finally, a combination of polyurethane dispersion (PUD) and DMUG was used to cross-link with cellulose. Since DMUG drastically decrease the tensile properties of the fabrics, PUD is used with DMUG to preserve the tensile properties of the fabric. Our results suggest that a combination of PUD and DMUG have a potential for a better wrinkle recovery performance while preserving the tensile properties of the fabrics.



Cotton fabric, Wrinkle, Cellulose binding modules