Monday, November 26, 2007

Application of Chitosan in textile Wet Processing

Chitin and chitosan have higher affinity for dyes and metals and certain surfactants, which
contribute to water pollution. Using the shellfish waste thus has two-fold
advantage: -

a) First to find a viable method to purify dye wastewaters.

b)To use natural resources, which could otherwise had been wasted.

After use for color removal the spent sorbent further finds use as a fibrous raw material for papermaking.

The use of chitosan as a combined thickener and binder in pigment printing has been studied in comparison with the commercial printing system. Printing pastes made from chitosan, acetic acid and pigments at appropriate viscosity give stable pastes and satisfactory results on polyester and polyester –cotton blends.

Chitosan can also be used in the dyebath, because due to the unimolecular structure it has an extremely high affinity for many classes of dyes, including disperse, direct, reactive, acid, vat, sulphur etc. Rate of diffusion of dyes in cellulose is similar to that in cellulose. Sorption of chitosan is exothermic: hence an increase in temperature leads to an increase in dye sorption. At lower pH chitosan free amines are protonated causing to attract anionic dyes.

Chitosan is used as a shrink-proofing agent and also is used to increase the dye uptake of wool. In its protonated form, it exhibits the behavior of a cationic polyelectrolyte, forming viscous solutions and interacting with the oppositely charged molecules. Thus it is suitable for processing of wool near its isoelectric point, offering minimum fiber damage and providing good quality. However the main limitation is the uneven distribution on the fabric surface.A new ecological method for shrink proofing of the wollen fabric is based on the enzymatic pretreatment and chitosan deposition on the wollen fabric. This
method shows the enzymatic pretreatment has an essential influence on the shrink proofing qualities and chitosan stabilizes the shrink proofing property. It also increases the kinetics of dyeing and causes a decrease in hydrophobicity.

Antimicrobial finishing is very important because cotton fabrics have poor resistance to microorganisms and thus the possibility of harming the human body. Due to the Antimicrobial action of the amino group at the C-2 position of the
glucosamine residue, chitosan is also known to be an antimicrobial polysaccharide. The ability of chitosan to immobilize microorganisms derives from its polycationic character. Its protonised amino groups block the protein sequences of microorganisms, thus inhibiting further proliferation. Chitosan binds to the negatively charged bacterial surface disrupting the cell membrane and altering its permeability. This allows materials to leak out of the bacterial cells resulting in cell death. Chitosan can also bind to DNA inside the cell inhibiting mRNA and hence protein synthesis. Recent studies have revealed that chitosan is more effective in inhibiting the growth of bacteria than chitosan oligomers. Also the antibacterial effect of chitosan oligomers are reported to be dependent on its molecular weight.
1,2,3,4-Butanetetracarboxylic acid (BTCA) and citric acid are representative of polycarboxylic acids that crosslink with cotton through an esterification reaction. BTCA is the most effective of these plycarboxylic acids, but its cost is very high; citric acid is a less effective crosslinking agent but is not as costly. However, cotton fabrics treated with citric acid alone exhibit appreciable yellowing, although there have been some investigations undertaken to reduce this yellowing.
Generally, cellulose is treated with chitoan by dissolving the chitosan in dilute acetic acid solution, but this method does not create any firm chemical bonds between chitosan and cellulose and thus is not durable to repeated laundering. The esterification reaction not only occurs between citric acid and cellulose but also between citric acid and the hydroxy groups of
chitosan, and free carboxylate groups can also react with the amino groups of chitosan resulting in a salt linkage. It is widely known that the Antimicrobial properties of cotton treated with chitosan is attributed to amino groups of chitosan, which convert to ammonium salts in dilute acid solution; the salt then binds to the negatively charged surface of the microorganism..

As a durable press and an Antimicrobial finishing agent for cotton fabric, citric acid and chitosan show satisfactory results. The WRA and DP rating of treated cotton fabrics increase, and there are slight improvements in tensile and tear strength using chitosan as abn extender of the crosslinking chain. A high Antimicrobial property level is obtained by treatment with CA as
well as chitosan, and despite repeated launderings, the Antimicrobial property remains at over 80%.
Chitosan is expected to be one of the safest and most effective Antimicrobial agents for hospital applications where many antibiotic substances are used. Chitosan is especially important in depressing the growth of methicilin resistant taphylococcus aureus, which is resistant to most antibiotic substances. Hygienic yarns can also be made through the addition of chitosan fibres. Chitosan fibers are blended with cotton fibers and a yarn is spun out of this blend; 10% chitosan component is sufficient to achieve a hygienic effect. This effect should endure 20 washes.(1)currently, there is also a hightened interest in protecting health care workers from diseases that might be carried by patients. Especially for surgical gowns, there is an increasing need to protect medical staff from infection by bloodborne pathogens such as HIV and HBV> gowns should be able to prevent “ strike through” or “wetting out” of the fabric, and so surgical gown materials should have not only
Antimicrobial properties but also blood barrier properties. Chitosan and fluoropolymers seem to be the most suitable finishing agents for providing surgical gown materials with barriers against microorganisms and blood. Because many medical products including surgical gowns are used in close proximity to human skin, the hand and air permeability of these materials are also very important. Recently, single-use gowns made from non-woven have gained in popularity because non-woven fabrics block fluids so well and single-use gowns are so reliable.

One of the most important characteristics of chitosan is its Antimicrobial activity at specific molecular weights. Protonated amine groups in chitosan inhibit the growth of microorganisms by holding negatively charged microorganism ions. Many studies have examined chitosan as an Antimicrobial finish for textile materials, either for production of low molecular weight
chitosan followed by its application on textile fibers or for co-spinning or co-casting of low molecular weight chitosan with cellulose molecules to make Antimicrobial fibers and films. However, these methods had to produce chitosan with specific molecular weights, which could considerably increase production costs. In addition, insolubility of chitosan in neutral or alkaline conditions further limited its application.

A quarternery ammonium derivative of chitosan, N-2-hydroxy propyl-3-trimethylammonium chitosan chloride (HTCC), is synthesized as an Antimicrobial finish for cotton using a reaction of glycidyltrimethylammonium chloride (GTMAC) and chitosan. The use of crosslinking agents or binders increase laundering durability of cotton treated with HTCC. A 5% nonionic binder applied along with 0.1% or higher concentration of HTCC on cotton is quite effective in increasing the laundering durability of the HTCC-treated cotton.

There are some reports about the utility of chitosan polymer to impart Antimicrobial activity in textile finishing. For example, chitosan salt produced by an organic acid was bound to the surface of textiles by a tremendous amount of resin, which formed cross-links. When fully deacetylated chitosan is depolymerised into chito-oligosaccharide with sodium nitrite, its DP can be
controlled by adjusting the amount of sodium nitrite added to the acetic acid solution containing the fully deacetylated chitosan.Chitosan when applied along with DMDHEU results in a substantial improvement in soil removal when oily soil is applied to cotton fabrics. The highest levels of soil removal are exhibited by fabric samples treated with DMDHEU with chitosan of average molecular weight below 21,000. the improvement in soil removal attributes to the prevention of deep soiling due to blocking of pore structure abd the increase in hydrophilicity by chitosan treatment.Chitosan treated samples of cotton with resin treatment show higher moisture regain values, this is because amine and hydroxyl groups provide reactive sites for
water.Various methods such as physical, chemical, and biological treatments are used for deodorizing. In the field of cosmetics, antibacterial agents, antiperspirants, and fragrances are used to effectively reduce or mask malodors. The antibacterial agents
control the bacteria that decompose human fats found in sweat to produce low molecular weight fatty acids. Using the same technology, the textile industry applies antibacterial agents for odor control. However, because antibacterial agents can attack human skin as well, there are only a limited number of such chemicals allowed for use in textile treatment.Over the past
few years, a considerable number of studies have been done on the performance of chemical deodorizers that swiftly couple with targeted odor substances. Their neutralizing ability makes such of low molecular weight substances less volatile. For example, these chemical deodorizers can target sweat, which generally shifts from human skin to fabric and then is concentrated to generate unfavorable odors after bacterial decomposition.

However, existing chemical deodorizes are highly surface active and can cause unpleasant results such as discoloration, aggregation, and skin irritation. Notably, most of the highly active substances are hydrophilic, and their activities become
weak under hydrophobic conditions. Chitosan was selected because while its primary amino group possibly deodorizes, its high molecular weight offers safety. The polymerization reactions of methacrylic acid with chitosan were done in water, and the emulsions were free of monomeric acid. The polymer particles showed high deodorizing performance, even in hydrophobic and hydrophilic circumstances, and fabric treated with the emulsion was also found useful for deodorizing.

In the manufacturing and coloration of cotton fabrics, the textile industry experiences dyeing problems with some lots of cotton. The cotton does not absorb dye uniformly and creates tiny white or light-colored spots. This results from small
clusters of immature cotton called neps. Immature cotton results from a variety of reasons e.g. plant disease, insect attack, premature harvesting after using harvest-aid chemicals, or adverse weather conditions.

Previous research has shown that pretreatment of cotton fabrics with chitosan significantly improves the dye coverage of neps. After dyeing with reactive dye using standard procedure dyed fabrics are treated with chitosan by exhaust or pad-batch method. The chitosan treatment alone did not cover the neps in the dyed fabrics. However, after redyeing with 0.1-0.2 dye, the neps were more or less completely covered. The coverage ratings increased from 1-2 to 4-5. The chitosan aftertreatment and redyeing with a small amount of dye caused very little change in total color difference value. There is a significant increase
in k/s value of dyed fabric. Nep coverage improved the quality of the dyed fabrics.

Among synthetic fibers, polyester (PET) exhibits excellent properties such as elastic recovery, dimensional stability. However, it does not absorbwater or moisture well. As a result, friction can cause static electricity to occur. Electric resistivity of natural fibers is 109 to 1010 Ω.cm; polyester fiber is less than 1015 Ω.cm; water is 103 Ω.cm. This static electricity causes electric shock, fiber contamination during textile finishing.Many endeavors to endow an antistatic property to polyester include research to change the characteristics of fiber surface. Chitosan shows high moisture regain even in low relative humidity and does not swell much in water; thus it can resist the decrease the durability that water causes. A permanent antistatic finish can be achieved by crosslinking hydrophilic materials that form an insoluble conductive sheath on the surface of the fiber. So chitosan seemingly has the potential to improve the water-absorbency and antistatic properties of polyester fiber.

Polyester fibers can be grafted with AA or NVF by preirradiation with γ rays. By acid hydrolysis, amide groups on the fiber surface can be converted into amino groups. Chitosan can then be grafted to modified polyester surfaces by either esterification or imine formation. The highest surface density of amino groups can be achieved by imine formation between chitosan and glutaraldehyde- treated PET-g-NH2.

Chitosan grafted polyesters show antibacterial activity for MRSA, S. aureus-2, and E. coli. The antibacterial activity increases with the surface density of amino groups. Furthermore, the antibacterial activity for E. coli is higher than that for the other bacteria, whereas the antibacterial activity for MRSA is the lowest.

Monday, November 19, 2007


Chitin was described for the first time in 1811 by Braconnot, who was professor of Science of Nancy, France. Chitosan was discovered by Rouget in 1859. He was found that chitin, which has been boiled in a very concentrated potassium hydroxide solution, becomes soluble in diluted solutions of iodine and acid, where as chitin was stained brown.

The production of chitin and chitosan is currently based on crab and shrimp shells discarded by the canning industries in Oregon, Washington, Virginia, and Japan and by various finishing fleets in the Antarctic. Several countries possess large unexploited crustacean resources e.g. Norway, Mexico, and Chile. The production of Chitosan from crustacean shells obtained, as a food industry waste is economically feasible, especially if it includes the recovery of carotenoids. The shells contain considerable quantities of astaxanthin, a carotenoid that has so far not been synthesized, and which is marketed as fish additive in aquaculture, especially for Salmon.

Chitin and Chitosan:

Chitin, poly- (1,4)-2 acetomido-2-deoxy-ß-D-glucose, is the second most abundant natural polymer. Its chemical structure is similar to that of cellulose, differing only in the second carbon position where the hydroxy groups are replaced by an amino acetyl group. Chitosan is the deacetylated form of chitin, i.e. poly- (1,4)-2amido-2-deoxy- ß-D-glucose. Chitin and chitosan are widely distributed in animals and fungi and are the basic polysaccharides that are the major component of the shells of crustacean such as crab, shrimp and crayfish.
Chitin and chitosan have the potential to reduce and to solve some problems for creating “Greener environment

The following is a chronological order of the processes needed to produce Chitosan from crustacean shells

Size reduction—Protein Separation (NaOH)—Washing—Demineralization (HCl) – Washing and Dewatering – Chitin -- Deacetylation (NaOH) – Washing and Dewatering – Chitosan.

Chitin and Chitosan are natural resources refined from the waste products of the crabbing and shrimp industry. Chitin is produced from the processing waste of shellfish, frill, clams, oysters, squid, and fungi. They have a high percentage of Nitrogen (6.89%) compared to the synthetically substituted cellulose, which has 1.25% nitrogen. Chitosan has amino groups and hence it exhibits many properties, such as biodegradability, which are different from the cellulose. Chitin does not melt; it is insoluble in water, dilute acids, cold alkalies, and organic solvents. However, the solvents like formic acid, concentrated mineral acids, and tetrechloroacetic acid can dissolve Chitin, but they are not convenient and lead to polymer degradation. On the other hand, Chitosan is readily soluble in most aqueous solutions, like that of 5% formic acid and acetic acid because of the basicity of the primary amine groups. Chitosan dissolves readily when electric repulsions (corresponding to cationic charges)
are more important than the attracting interactions (such as hydrogen bonding and Vander Walls interactions). The solubility of chitosan is also favoured by the process of hydration of various, mainly charged sites. As a result, the ratio between NH3+ and NH2 groups, a parameter directly related to the charge density of the polymer, is a very important factor in ascertaining the properties of chitosan. The basic difference between
Chitin and Chitosan is the degree of deacetylation (DAC), which is the same as the relative amount of free amount amine. Chitosan is obtained from chitin by treating the latter with strong caustic soda and heat, which removes the N-acetyl groups.

As a natural renewable resource with a number of unique properties, chitosan is now attracting more and more scientific and industrial interest from diversified fields such as chemistry, biochemistry, medicine, pharmacology, biotechnology, and food and textile sciences. Properties such as biodegradability, biocompatibility, non-toxicity, wound healing and antimicrobial activity have generated much research work. Many unique products have been developed for various applications such as surgical sutures, artificial skin, cosmetics and dietary foods.

Almost all properties of chitin and chitosan depend on two fundamental parameters; the degree of acetylation and the molecular mass distribution (or average molecular weight), although they do have some contrasting properties. The molecular weight of chitin and chitosan can be determined by methods such as chromatography, light scattering and viscometry. Viscometry is by far the most simple and rapid method for the determination of average molecular weight by measuring an intrinsic viscosity for several concentrations of chitosan or chitin solutions.

Properties of Chitosan:

  • Solution properties of Chitosan in free Amine (-NH2) form soluble in acidic solutions.
  • Insoluble at pH’s> 6.5
  • Insoluble in H2SO4
  • Limited solubility in H3PO4
  • Insoluble in most organic solvents
  • Soluble at pH’s < 6.5
  • Forms viscous solutions
  • Solutions shear thinning, forms gels with polyanions
  • Will remain soluble in some alcohol-water mixtures

Chemical properties of Chitosan

Chitosan is a linear polyamine (poly-O-glucosamine) with reactive hydroxyl and amine group

Chitin and chitosan are natural biopolymers. They have no antigenic properties, and thus are perfectly compatible with living tissue. Their antithrombogenic and hemostatic properties make them very suitable for use in all fields of biology.


Chitosan forms films that are permeable to air. It facilitates cellular regeneration while protecting tissue from microbe attack. In addition, chitosan has been found to have a biostimulant effect on the regeneration of tissue.
Lysozome that kills various germs increases 1.5 to 2 times as fiber made from chitosan comes in contact with the skin it also activates nitrogen, which regenerates the skin. This property has allowed it to be used in making an
artificial skin for skin grafts on high degree burns and in surgical applications such as chitin suture thread. It binds to mammalian gum tissue. It accelerates the formation of osteoblasts responsible for the formation of bone.

Anticholesterolemic agent
Chitosan can trap lipids at their insolubilization pH in the digestive tract. Administered to rats, chitosan considerably reduces the level of cholesterol in the blood.

Chelation agent
Chitin and its derivatives are remarkable chelation agents. Chitosan is used for a wide rangeof applications: as a chromatography medium, or for trapping heavy metals, or for water treatment. It chelates many transitional metal ions

Chitin and chitosan are biodegradable biopolymers. Enzymes-chitinase and chitosanase-break them down into oligopolymers that are then dealt with by the metabolism. It is biodegradable to normal body constituents.

Strengthening the immunity

Fibers made from chitosan strengthen the immunity of the human body to expel foreign matters when disease germs or viruses enter the body.

Antimicrobial activity
It is also a fungi static and has spermicidal and antitumor properties. Generally chitosan (D.A.=9.9%, concentration 0.15%) is proved to be free from mildew activity during four cultivating days. The activity increases with increase in concentration of chitosan.

Electric properties of Chitosan
Fibers made from chitosan can effectively generate static electricity due to its high molecular weight. It has a unique resistance value similar to other natural high molecular matters such as cellulose or rayon.

Deodrant properties of Chitosan

Chitosan eliminates stink of sweat and other odors. It has humid retention properties due to the amine radical & is also a central nervous system.

This post is contributed by Imran Mallick, M. Tech, UICT (formerly UDCT)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Soluble dyes for wool
comprise acid, mordant, and metal-complex dyes. Acid dyes are classified broadly into the following three groups, according to their dyeing and wet fastness properties, though many dyes have intermediate properties:

Leveling or equalizing acid dyes, which require a strong acid (usually H2SO4 is used) to give good exhaustion of the bath. They have poor fastness to washing, milling, and other wet processes, but good leveling properties, i.e. the dye distributes itself evenly throughout the fibres on continued boiling.

Milling acid dyes,
which are dyed neutral or from a weakly acid bath (acetic acid is usually used). They have good fastness to washing, etc, but they usually have poor leveling properties.

Super Milling acid dyes,
which are dyed from a weakly alkaline bath (ammonium sulphate is usually used). They have very good fastness to washing, etc, but they have very poor leveling properties.

All acid dyes are applied at the boil. Glauber salt is used to retard dyeing and thus to assist in obtaining level dyeing.


M: L 1:30
Dye bath additives for leveling type
10% Glauber salt + 3% H2SO4
+ dye solution

Dye bath additives for Milling type

10% Glauber salt + 1% CH3COOH
+ dye solution

Dye bath additives for Super Milling type
3% leveling agent + 3% CH3
COONH4 Solution

Adjust dye bath for 1% shade and 1:50 MLR. Start dyeing at room temperature. Raise temperature to boil. Keep at boil for one hour. Finally squeeze the hanks, rinse with cold water, squeeze and dry.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Garment Processing

'Garment processing' is nothing but preparation, dyeing, printing and finishing operations performed on apparel that has been fully made and is ready for sale. Newer fashion trends through continuous product and process development is a key to be successful, as consumers are more fashion conscious irrespective of kid’s wear, men’s garments or lady’s garments. Garment wet processing has become the key element of product development. The five “F’s” are very important for consumer satisfaction 1) Fabric 2) Finishing 3) Fit 4) Factory 5) fashion. All these five elements interact with each other to create new and exciting looks for the future. The important factor in garments from customer satisfaction is look, colour and feel of the garments, which must be appealing. The effect of garment wet processing should create attractive fashions and should differ from garments manufactured from processed fabrics.

Apart from the fashion and trends, garment wet processing also have advantages in economics and other aspects they are listed as

Advantages Of 'Garment Processing'

Handling of smaller lots economically

Enables various special effects to achieved

Distressed look can be effectively imparted

Unsold light shades can be converted into medium and deep shades

By the time the garment has been in a boiling dyebath and then tumble-dried, it will have adopted its lowest energy state and will not suffer further shrinkage under consumer washing conditions

Latest fashion trends can be effectively incorporated through garment wet processing by immediate feedback from the customer

But Advantages Are Also Associated With Disadvantages,

Disadvantages of 'garment processing'

High cost of processing

A little complicated dyeing

Garment accessories like zips, buttons, etc impose restrictions. The garments produced from woven fabrics create many problems and it has been found that the existing textile treatment styles as developed for piece dyed fabric cannot be just assembled for garment wet processing operation such as garment dyeing, unless they have been engineered from the original design stage for garment dyeing.

The factors governing processing of ready-made garments are

• Sewing Thread

• Metal Components. Shrink behavior

• Accessories

• Foreign substances

• Interlining

• Care labeling.