Tuesday, November 25, 2008


A Softener is a chemical that alters the fabric hand making it more pleasing to the touch. The more pleasing feel is a combination of a smooth sensation, characteristic of silk, and of the material being less stiff. The softened fabric is fluffier and has better drape. Drape is the ability of a fabric to follow the contours of an object. In addition to aesthetics (drape and silkiness), softeners improve abrasion resistance, increase tearing strength, reduce sewing thread breakage and reduce needle cutting when the garment is sewn.
The application of softening substances turns a hard and brittle fabric into a soft, pleasant textile with which the buyer can expect a high degree of wearing comfort and wearing properties.

Chemistry of Softeners
The continual proliferation of textile softeners can be attributed to their molecular diversity, performance versatility and the multiplicity of fibres, blends and application processes. Based on polarity or ionic nature, softeners are categorised into four basic types:
1) Nonionic softeners.
Mono – di - glycerides
Glycol esters
2) Cationic softeners
Fatty amidoamine acid salts
Quaternary fatty amidoamines
Quaternary tertiary amines
Quaternary imidazolines.
Gemini Surfactants (Bis-Quaternary Ammonium Salt)
3) Anionic softeners
Sulfated triglycerides
Sulfated fatty alcohols
Anionically emulsied glycerides
4) Amphoteric softeners
Imidazoline carboxylate salts
Imidazoline sulfonate salts
5) Special softeners
Polyethylene emulsions
Silicone emulsions
Author: Mukesh R.

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