There are four main processes in the Denim washing
- Stone or Enzyme Wash- To adjust the surface effect
- Bleaching- To adjust the color
- Finishing- To adjust the handfeel of the garment
Pretreatment involves removal of impurities from the garments and desizing the garment. It also involves prevention of creases in the garment. Wetting Dispersing agent is used in desizing process. It should be able to rapidly wet the jeans so that it can prevent white lines of creases and prevents back staining. Back staining is the redeposition of indigo dyed short fibers, or loose indigo, removed during desizing, stone-washing or enzyme washing. Backstaining reduces the contrast of warp and undyed weft. It also stains pockets and labels and it is more prone ot ozone and yellowing. An anticrease agent is added to prevent crease formation during the washing process.
Enzyme in garment Industry
Enzyme is a kind of protein. They help the chemical reaction but themselves do not take part in chemical reaction. The starting molecule in a reation is called substrate and the yield molecule is called substate. Enzymes and substrate work like lock-key model so only one enzyme is useful for one type of substrate. Enzymes are better than chemical catalyst because they act in mild conditions such as room temperature. They are also biodegradable. Many enzymes are used in garment washing. An enzyme called Amylase is used in removing starch in desizing. Celullase is used in breaking and removing cellulose fibers. Laccase is used in biobleaching and catalase is used as an anti peroxide.
Stone and Enzyme Wash
Cellulase weaken the surface fibers which are then mechanically torn off during processing, taking with them indigo. However, they need mechanical action to work. Hence they are used with stones. Cellulase is also used in biopoloshing, which removes surface fibers and make the surface smooth.
Laccase enzyme decolorises indigo without using bleach. It provides very good contrast and since it attacks only indigo dye and not the fiber so it gives excellent tensile strength.
The discolouration of textiles, i.e. a change of shade or loss of whiteness, giving a yellow tint, is commonly known as YELLOWING.Yellowing is due to many reasons. Cotton, yellows with age. However aging cannot make severe yellowing happen. Certain lubricants used in weaving and knitting can cause yellowing. The Anti oxidants present in these oils can cause a type of yellowing called as phenolic yellowing. The anti oxidants are also present in packaging materials and silicon softeners. Also temperature of drying and curing during processing can scorch the fibers and cause yellowing.
Indigo dyed fabrics are more prone to yellowing. Indigo when exposed to NOx or Ozone can produce yellow colored compounds. Indigo itself through simple oxidation can transform into yellow colored compounds.
There are specialised anti-yellowing softeners available. This work by either forming a protective filem, or by reacting the pollutants to form colorless compounds.
The source of these notes this presentation. This also contains images and chemical reactions. You can also view images of various denim washes here. One more resource is here.
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