The effects of chemical treatments on the abrasion resistance of wool fabrics
The low abrasion resistance of wool fabrics compared with many man-made fibre fabrics is known to be a frequent cause of consumer dissatisfaction particularly in pure wool suiting fabrics. Accordingly this project was undertaken to attempt to improve the abrasion resistance in order to maintain the quality image associated with wool fabrics and improve their market competitiveness vis-ä-vis other fabrics. Although several workers have discussed the effects of particular finishes on specific fabrics, very little systematic investigation of the effects of chemical treatments on the abrasion resistance of wool fabrics has been carried out. In the current study the difference in abrasion rates of woven wool fabrics composed of different structures have been studied in relation to the abrasion resistance and other relevant physical properties. The work carried out in this thesis is divided into two parts. A review of the literature is followed by a description of the experimental work carried out. The review of the literature summarises current views on the general mechanisms and factors involved in abrasion processes for textile fabrics and the effects of selective finishing treatments on the abrasion resistance of wool fabrics. In addition details of the abrasion testing conditions used in this work for determining fabric abrasion resistance have been described. The' experimental work is concerned with the changes in wool fabric abrasion resistance produced by the following treatments: (i) Application of polymer shrink-resist finishes by padding and by exhaustion treatments, (ii) Treatment with organic solvents, (iii) Treatment with ethylene glycol at-1500C, (iv) Deamination and esterification, (v) High temperature steaming (130°C), (vi) Dyeing, (vii), Wet abrasion. Because of the great commercial importance of polymer shrink resist finishes for wool fabrics, the main objects of the experimental work were to establish the effects of a range of polymer shrink-resist finishes applied by conventional padding and exhaustion techniques on the abrasion resistance of wool fabrics and the mechanisms by which the abrasion resistance is improved.