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A LECTURE NOTE ON

PREPARATORY PROCESSES FOR WOOL AND SILK

Adane Haile
Institute of Technology for Textile, Garment and Fashion Design

Bahirdar University 2004

PREPARATION OF WOOL

IMPURITIES IN RAW WOOL Raw wool is dirty & consists of impurities


Keratin
Dirt

33%
26%

Suint
Wax/lipids

12%
28%

Impurities

Mineral Matter

1%

Others: - Added lubricants and pigments


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Dirt: Consists of dried grass, seed, dried oil and so on held by


means of adhesion forces of suint and wool fat.

Suint: This impurity comes from the secretions by sweat glands.


Typically contains potassium salts of fatty acids and amino acids. Wax or wool grease: Mainly lanolin [Complex mixture of hydrocarbons] Mineral matter: Oxides of certain metals (potassium & iron)
LARGE AMOUNT OF IMPURITIES ALKALINE & HEAT SENSITIVITY

METHODS OF WOOL SCOURING


AQUEOUS ALKALINE SCOURING
SOLVENT SCOURING THERMAL SCOURING FREEZE SCOURING
Scouring must be carried out so as to cause as little harm to the wool fiber as possible, both from chemical and

mechanical (felting) point of view.

AQUEOUS ALKALINE SCOURING


Alkaline scouring of wool is carried out in alkaline soap solution.

Sodium carbonate is used as alkali in wool scouring.


Wetting agents & other scouring bath additives

Emulsification and solubilization

AQUEOUS SCOURING PROCESS IN STAGES


Trough No. Soap
(%)

Na2CO3
(%)

Time
(min)

Temp
(0C)

1 2 3 4

0.8 0.4 0.35 Water

0.2 -

2 .5-3 2-3 2 1-2

40-50 40-50 40-50 40-50

Wool scouring can be carried out on: Fiber, yarn or Fabric

SOLVENT SCOURING

High pressure jets of solvent remove the wax, dirt and suint
Solvents such as benzene and CCl4 (carbon tetrachloride) Suitable solvent recovery plant is necessary

THERMAL SCOURING

Involves thermal liquefaction of wax by irradiation.

Mixing with grease absorbing material and Rinsing

FREEZE SCOURING
Exposing wool to low temperature environment [-30oC] Freezing of wax and dirt matter Mechanical breakage of frozen matter Rinsing

CARBONIZATION OF WOOL
The scouring process for wool is primarily engaged in removal of wax and water soluble impurities. Vegetable matters in wool are removed by CARBONIZATION

Carbonizing is done to remove the cellulosic impurities


from wool by treatment with acid or acid producing salts. Primarily sulfuric acid is used. The ultimate effect is hydrolysis of cellulose present in vegetable matters of wool fiber.

CONVENTIONAL CARBONIZING PROCESS


SCOURING ACIDIZING DRYING AND BAKING BURR CRUSHING AND DEDUSTING NEUTRALIZING

Carbonizing liquor: H2SO4 (up to 7%) + Acid resistant wetting agent

Drying @ 110 0C and baking @ 140 0C for a short period of time

WOOL BLEACHING
Scoured wool varies in shade from light cream to near black of pigmented wool. Removal of coloring matters from wool can be achieved

with similar mechanism as in cotton bleaching.


Possible bleaching processes for wool:
ALKALINE PEROXIDE BLEACHING
ACIDIC PEROXIDE BLEACHING

REDUCTIVE BLEACHING USING SODIUM HYDROSULPHITE


SEQUENTIAL OXIDATIVE AND REDUCTIVE BLEACHING

Alkaline peroxide bleaching requires stabilizer addition like

in cotton bleaching. Bleaching is carried out at lower alkalinity [8-10] at lower temperature [~ 500C].

In the acid peroxide bleaching wool is treated with a solution of

hydrogen peroxide containing formic acid at pH around 4 to 4.5 at room temperature. Drying takes place for the bleaching reaction to take place.

The acid peroxide bleaching process is advantageous: Lower

chemical degradation of wool & thorough rinsing after bleaching can be avoided.

R S S R R SO S R
Sequential bleaching:

Treatment with peroxide bleach bath and

addition of reducing agent in the bath for reductive


bleaching.
Example: Thiourea

Effect on the disulphide linkage


Example:
addition of stabilizers such as sodium pyrophosphate [Na4P2O7] in reductive bleaching with sodium hydrosulphite

RCH 2 S S CH 2 R + 2[H] RCH 2 SH + HS CH 2 R

Fluorescent brightening for full white in acidic solutions

PREPARATION OF SILK

INTRODUCTION

Silk fiber is composed of two proteins:


fibroin and sericin
The basic fiber substance is Fibroin made from long-chain protein molecules. Sericin [silk gum] surrounds the fibroin

filaments and holds them together.


Fibroin and sericin are composed of amino acids with different composition and structural

arrangements. In particular the serine content of sericin is higher.

R -NHCHCOR = -HOCH2

TYPICAL SILK FIBER COMPOSITION


Component
Fibroin Sericin Waxy matter Carbohydrates Inorganic matter

%
70-80 20-30 0.4-0.8 1.2-1.6 0.7

Impurities

Pigment

0.2

Natural color of silk differs upon type of silkworm

DEGUMMING
Silk gum together with other impurities inhibit penetration of chemicals used in subsequent silk processing. Scouring of silk practically means removal of the silk gum

and other impurities such as waxy and mineral matter.

DEGUMMING

Cleavage of peptide bonds in sericin by


hydrolysis OR impurity solubilization.

CONVENTIONAL DEGUMMING METHODS

Extraction with water Boil off in soap Degumming with acids Degumming with alkalis

Acid degumming is due to hydrolysis of sericin.

Alkali degumming involves solubilization of sericin by


converting COOH groups to COONa.
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Chemical Soap

Conc. 20-30% owf pH-10

Temp. [oC] 90-100

Time 1-2h

Acid
NI surfactant

0.05 mol/l
3g/l

100

60 min

pH-1.5-2 Water 115 45 min

Alkali Sod. Carb. Sod. Bicarb. 1:1 molar ratio pH 9.5-10.5 95 20min

SILK BLEACHING
The

sericin

remnants

which

are

tenaciously

associated with the silk fibroin cause discoloration in silk in addition to the naturally occurring silk

pigment.
Silk can be bleached by oxidative as well as reductive methods. If a very high degree of whiteness is required, a

combination of both methods in the form of double bleach is applied.


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Selection of bleaching agent must consider minimal damage to the silk fibroin. Peroxide bleaching as oxidative method and reductive bleaching using sodium hydrosulphite are conventionally used.
The level of whiteness can be controlled by concentration of
bleach, length of treatment time, pH and temperature of treatment bath.
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PRETREATMENT OF SYNTHETICS AND BLENDS

Synthetic fibers generally do not contain naturally


occurring impurities like natural fibers. SPIN FINISHES PROCESSING LUBRICANTS DIRT & SIGHTING COLORS WATER SOLUBLE SIZE The objective of scouring synthetic fiber fabrics is to

remove the dirt, spin finishes and processing lubricants.


Bleaching for removal of sighting colors.

Scouring for PC blends is mainly designed to remove the natural oils and waxes from the cotton portion and the finish oils which manufacturer add to polyester fibers when extruded. Bleaching of PC blends are normally required to remove the natural colors of cotton, sighting colors and if the polyester

portion is turned yellow at the time of heat-setting operation.


Alkaline hydrogen peroxide bleaching is the most preferred system for polyester/cotton blends and bleaching.
COMBINED SCOURING/BLEACHING FOR ECONOMICAL PURPOSE