Comprehensive View on Garment Dyeing and Finishing

D Saravanan, Member T Ramachandran, Fellow
Processing of garments offers many advantages compared to conventional route adopted in dyeing and finishing of fabrics. Many developments have taken place in the field of garment processing, especially in dyeing and finishing and easy care finishing has become synonymous with finishing of garments. Nevertheless stringent measures are required in the case of garment processing since any damage at this stage would result in value added losses. This paper discusses certain aspects related to dyeing and finishing of garments, in the selected area.
Keywords : Dyeing; Shrinkage; Stoneless wash; DP finish; Strength loss

INTRODUCTION The benefits of garment processing revolve around quick response, improved inventory control and it is an obvious way to meet quick fashion changes also1. During 20th century, most of the developmental works were aimed at enhancing the comfort properties of the fabrics and garments along with various functional finishes by improving ‘use’ value, enhancing ‘esteem’ value and imparting ‘gimmick’ values 2 - 4. There have been considerable concerns over the discomfort of wrinkle free garments due to hydrophobic nature of finish imparted to the fabrics in conventional treatments and reduced absorption properties. Washing of denim goods and the associated problems have a longer history and extended to other items such as chambrays and indigo dyed fabrics5 - 9. GARMENT DYEING AND DYEING MACHINES The dyeing of the garments demands more care than fabrics due to the fact that the processing involves value added goods. The entire garment dyeing activities may be broken down into four categories, namely, fully fashioned garment dyeing, cut and sewn garment, dyeing of 100% cotton goods for boutique trades and processing of denims leading to stone wash, snow wash, over dyeing, stoneless washing and highlighting effects. A multi-colour splatter effect called ‘splatter dyeing’ has been made possible on denim garments without the necessity of tieing or knotting, using reactive dyes combining, exhaust dyeing, pad-batch and printing technologies 9 . Since majority of the garments are constructed from cotton fabrics, reactive and direct dyes are the most popular classes though other classes are also used to some extent10-17. Exhaust dyeing with pigments is possible only with materials pretreated with a cationic agent which imparts substantivity to overcome the non-substantitive in nature of the pigments18.
D Saravanan is with the Department of Textile Technology, Bannari Amman Institute of Technology, Sathyamangalam, Erode 638 401, Tamil Nadu and T Ramachandran is with the Department of Textile Technology, P S G College of Technology, Coimbatore 641 004, Tamil Nadu . This paper (modified) was received on February 28, 2008. Written discussion on the paper will be entertained till April 30, 2009.

Unlike fabric dyeing machines where rollers and jets are commonly employed in moving the fabrics through the machine and liquor, garment dyeing machines require special arrangements to move garments with reduced tumbling actions. Salient features of drum type machines, extractors, paddle type and jet circulators have been discussed in the past by many authors13, 14, 19-21 as shown in Table 1. The attributes of ideal garment dyeing machine would include automatic controller for cycle repetition and optimization, shade consistency, centrifugal extraction, heating facility to make the cycle faster, cooling facility, lint filter to give cleaner look to the garments, sampling device for better shade management, addition tank, tilting mechanism for faster unloading of the garments, variable speed for processing different garments and volume level control for shade reproducibility. Paddles are widely accepted for sweaters, loosely knitted goods due to their soft dyeing action, which avoids abrading and pilling the garments as shown in Figure 1 and Figure 2. For gentleness, the dyeing is carried out with an m:l ratio of 30:1 to 40:1, the blades of the paddle are either curved or rounded and the rotating speed of the paddle can be regulated from 1.5 rpm to 40 rpm. Overhead paddle, lateral paddle and high temperature paddle machines serve the needs of the entire range of the garments. Dye extractors with multi-pocket designs have compartments to control garment movements, abrasion due to mechanical
Table 1 Garment dyeing machines and their principles Type of construction Paddling machine Drum machine Washing-centrifuging machines Jet dyeing centrifuging machines Type of liquor and garment movement Mechanical arrangements like paddle, drum Hydrodynamic movement with adjustable jets Hydrodynamic circulating dyeing machines with so called floating liquor circulation principle Jets and nozzles are used to facilitate movement of the garments

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IE(I) Journal–TX

prevent goods from sinking and allow opening them. to remove creases or to relax the garments. FINISHING OF GARMENTS Mechanical finishing of garments refers to the finishes. equipped with heating unit. The drums are divided into compartments and are capable rotating in both the directions at 2 rpm to 20 rpm. when temperature varies up to 140 °C. pressing dummy operation. Ironing is carried out after toppers.Figure 1 Horizontal paddle dyeing machine Figure 3 Drum type garment dyeing machine dry weight with m:1 ratio of 1:25 to 1:40 and temperatures as high as up to 130° C. Table 2 Comparison of pre-cure and post-cure processes Parameters Curing Benefits Pre-cure Flat state Better smoothness Dimensional stability Post-cure Garment form Smoothness Dimensional stability Crease retention Minimum seam puckering Drawbacks No permanent crease Seam puckering High cost Risk of premature setting Figure 2 Front loading garment dyeing machine action by carrying the garments through the dye liquor in the compartments. Though the processes like wrinkle free. The machine capacity varies from 25 kg . By making more compartments’ the tumbling effects and the entanglements in the garments are reduced and also are the abrasions associated with it. August 2008 15 . dyeing. a perforated drum is suspended lengthwise in a horizontal position. The steam is blown outwards through the garment at low tension. made from perforated drum. easy care. durable press finish employ similar chemicals.125 kg of Volume 89. Earlier formaldehyde was originally used for improving the wet strength of the regenerated cellulosic fibres under acidic conditions22 and since then the applications have improved in various areas. Drum dyeingcentrifuging machines are also called multipurpose drum machines or multi-rapid dyeing-centrifuging machines. an air suction unit. In most of the cases. centrifuging and conditioning successively with automated controls. sweat shirts. pocket and button flaps. circulation unit and a lint sieve devices. with dummies. In drum type machines. jackets. etc. In jet machines. Turbulence nozzles at the bottom ensure liquor circulation. Toppers are used for simultaneous steaming and stretching of trousers while pressing machines are used for pull-overs. the dye liquor and goods are kept in circular motion by jet nozzles whose direction and force are adjustable. submerged in the dye liquor (Figure 3). which are given to made-up textiles before they are ready for delivery. in areas like collar. the process consists of a steaming treatment. cuffs. since these machines can perform scouring. Driers are often constructed using tumblers. shirts etc.

46. Softer hand in the garments can be achieved in this process compared to the conventional process26. with non-nitrogeneous. garment dip processes. tryptophan and phenylalanine also have been shown to play an active role in the protein-cellulose interactions 41. helping the dyes to float out of the cellulose fibers during hydrolysis. which are enhanced by the presence of groups capable of forming hydrogen bonds. Pre-cure. in terms of reactivity22. citric acid. 38. though they are kinetically preferred positions. in terms of stability.type of application and the forms of the fabrics vary.450 ppm. It has been shown earlier that cellulases capable of binding cellulose molecules have a special domain called cellulose binding domain (CBD). Typically protein loading of 0. 34-37. Immobilized amino acids are also used to characterize the binding patterns of proteins on indigo38. yarns and draping action. In trifunctional citric acid hydroxyl groups hinder the esterification of acid with cellulose. for effective wash down effects38 . Grafting methods also have been attempted to graft glycidyl methaacrylate on cotton using ultra violet radiation.33. without loss of toughness and abrasion resistance. Cellulases obtained from different sources exhibit varying degrees of binding capabilities. It has been found that reaction of formaldehyde with the secondary hydroxyl groups and the cross links formed in such reactions are not favourable ones. engineered EG I. Proven relationship exists among various process variables like pH. 23 . Novel washing techniques are also used to achieve faded and emerized effects. mainly controlled by the presence of certain hydrophobic residues and their locations on the outer surface of the enzyme globules. Two reactions take place under acidic conditions with cellulose include acid hydrolysis of cellulose and formation of methylene ether bridges between the molecules of formaldehyde. while certain hydrophobic sites and other non-polar surfaces available in the cellulases bind the indigo molecules and act as an emulsifier. EGII EGIII. Attempts have been made to utilize various non-formaldehyde based chemicals including butane tetracarboxylic acid (BTCA). The wrinkle recovery angle (WRA) of the BTCA treated fabrics are observed between 287°C-298°C while the values have been found to be 264°C-295°C for DMDHEU treated fabrics with the formaldehyde release up to 330 ppm . dried. Besides CBDs. BTCA treated cotton fabrics show similar properties as that of DMDHEU treated fabrics. Different dyeing effects in the garments are obtained by treating one side of fabrics with cross linking agents while leaving the other side freely without modification. the garments are impregnated with a finish similar to the finish used in the conventional post-cure process. provides an approach for a smooth-drying-dyeable fabrics27. reversible cross linking treatments are. Binding of cellulase on highly ordered cotton fibres demand strict spatial conservation in the cellulase molecules like. Cellulases produced by Trichoderma reesei. while such conformational conservations are not required in the case of indigo particles and can be accomplished in the hydrophobic micro-environments. non-formaldehyde cross linkers results in superior lubricating action between fibres. liquid ammonia and various silicone based derivatives in finishing of garments23. aromatic residues of the amino acids like tyrosine. construction of the fabric. curing temperature and time for a given fabric or garment33. Differential dyeing effects in the cotton fabrics are obtained by spraying the cross linking formulation and dyeing the fabrics subsequently with reactive dyes. two hydroxyl groups of adjacent cellulosic chains. CBD. 16 IE(I) Journal–TX . EG V and CBH I. Polymers of maleic acid esterify citric acid in-situ on cotton fabric under curing conditions which transforms citric acid into a compound with higher functionality and thus produce synergistic effect in the reaction37. It shows that indigo molecules may indeed be bound to nonpolar side chains of amino acids. where the extent of cross linking increases with type of catalyst used25. The performance of citric acid treated fabrics is satisfactory in terms of durability and home laundering as compared to BTCA. employed to achieve wider finish effects. indigo dyed cotton fibres demand binding of enzymes on indigo dye molecules also in addition to the cellulose molecules. STONELESS WASHING OF DENIM GARMENTS Though biopolishing of cotton fabrics employs cellulases. Finish effects from polycarboxylic acids are achieved through ester linkages while ether linkages are formed in N-methylolamide agents. post-cure.5 mg/g to 3 mg/g fabric provides necessary abrasion effects on denim surface and final abrasive effect induced by the enzyme action on the surface of denim fabrics depends on the protein distribution between the substrate and bulk solution. pressed and cured. 28. depending on the weight. to decide the required end uses6. often. Chrysosporium lucknowense and Penicillium verruculosum. The formalization process takes place in a combination of fast reaction in the amorphous region and a slow diffusion in the crystalline regions. Phosphoric acid and polyphosphonic acids may also be used to impart wrinkle-resistant properties when used in combination with cyanamide. extracted. and also the mode of handling. The relative merits and demerits of both pre-cure and post-cure processes are shown in Table 2. Reaction of the methylol group with cellulose takes place followed by the reaction of acrylol groups (Nmthyloloacrylamide) from an aqueous solution by a base catalysed nucleophilic reaction or by a free radical initiated reaction with cellulose25. wet and damp cure. Glyoxal itself can be used as a cross-linker but possibly breaks down during the curing operation and adversely affects the fabric strength and color. Liquid ammonia treatment applied on cotton improves the wrinkle resistant performance. Incorporation of reactive polysiloxanes. In the garment dip process. CBH II from Trichoderma reesei preparation and core domains of CBH I have been conventionally used to understand the mechanism of denim washing 41.

For the garments prepared from the grey fabric. waist band. related to drum dyeing machines and in many occasions. causes irreparable dye-resist spots on the garments. can result in rapid decolourization and are also used in washing the denim garments though they are not effective by themselves in the process. due to change in absorption and scattering power of light. it calls for many stringent requirements related to panels. yarn and fabrics depend on the extent of reactions. Uneven finish applications. The conjugated double bond between the two carbonyl groups in indigo is cleaved and the dye chromophore is destroyed proportionately to the dosage of the enzyme. which is traceable to the path length traversed by the light in the longitudinal and transverse directions in fibres. temperature and cycle time. picks/inch or courses/inch in the knitted fabrics. due to the shrinkage in a high temperature dyeing process. Fibre type (natural / thermoplastic) fabric construction (tightly woven crease prone). mixing of panels from fabrics. 64. with certain low molecular weight organic mediators. Size. Water spotting of the fabric. Excessive cross linking results in loss of the strength and abrasion resistance and while in adequate cross linking leads to poor shrinkage control. Some of the surface effects of the fabrics visually influence the depth and hue of the dyed garments55. Poor fabric preparation and the garments manufactured using the panels that are taken from different lots of the fabrics result in problems that are difficult to rectify at later stages. Problems related to electrolysis of ionic processing solutions resulting from galvanic action of bimetallic garment accessories need special care. whereas such sensitivity is not obvious in the case of staple fibre yarns. August 2008 . Garment to garment shade differences can be minimized with machine loads containing garments made from the same lot of fabric. The physical condition of garments. Though garment dyeing appears to be attractive. curing conditions in the fabric state. 51-62. accessories. smoothness and crease retention. prior to garmenting. addition of lubricant (special lubricants reduces friction) are some of the parameters that influence chafe marks. increase in catalyst concentration decreases tear strength than at low temperature (165°C. are multi-copper oxidases that catalyse the oxidation of a wide range of phenols and other substrates with concomitant reduction of oxygen to water. In the case of reactive dyes. which is considered to be the major advantage of laccases compared to conventional acid wash process 47-50. The initial temperature of the textile substrate and process bath can influence the efficiency of the wetting process. 12.Laccases. The various patterns present in the garments must be adjusted to compensate for shrinkage during dyeing process14. interlining and care labels1. cuffs and problems often occur due to shrinkage behaviour. Tight seams in the garments become further tighter. 34. Swollen cellulosic fibres are especially sensitive to mechanical friction. Variations in shade among the garment panels. while thermoplastic synthetic fibres tend to form permanent creases58. loading (higher loading-higher creases). 13. between garments can also occur due to treatments with optical brightening agents. PRECAUTIONS IN GARMENTS PROCESSING Processing of garments has come through a long way to reach the present prominent status. Anionic inhibitors are used to protect metal accessories. In the presence of an aqueous medium. and prevent dye penetration on seams and underneath the stitches. heating rate. Processing problems related to the garment size control and appearance normally result from variations in yarn size /twist. ends/inch. The apparent colour of yarns made from filaments tends to vary with the angle of viewing. Dimensionally stable thread with low elongation will help to minimize seam puckering after dyeing.. Chafe marks/creases are. Significant darkening of the fabrics occurs after subjecting it to calendaring because of the increased optical contact and reduced light scattering power. prior to curing. isatic acid and anthranilic acid.section and crimp of the filaments also affect the depth of the shade. such as. garments are turned inside out and dyed with non-foaming lubricants. chafe marks/creases. a sub-class of oxidoreductases. At higher temperature. oxidative desize-scour-chemick-peroxide bleach sequence is used prior to processing. surface appearance. Establishing the dyeing procedures for each garments style. elasticated areas. In the case of knitted fabrics. fixation time and temperature. results in panel to panel shade variation in the garment dyeing process30. Laccases. button. Fabrics containing raised surfaces exhibit variation in shade in the side and end arise mainly due to difference in the optical origin. wear and tear of interior metallic surface. Tendency to entangle can be reduced by tacking and bagging the articles which in turn reduces the abrasion. 17. alkali and salt concentration. cross. zippers made of non-ferrous. The cross linking treatment of cotton fabrics and garments results many changes in physical properties of the fibres. the laccases get oxidized and convert the mediator into free radicals which subsequently convert the indigo into isatin. pre-relaxation is employed to avoid the problems of seam pucker and garment distortion and such fabrics can also be used along with woven fabrics as fabric cut and sewn garment designs. process variables and their effects on garment finishing has been discussed in the past 30. dye system and set-controls can help to address the variations in load. 14. water volume. white metals from oxidation and tarnishing. waist bands and cuffs. Residual hydrogen peroxide in the bleached materials can interfere with dyes and spoil the colour values. consistent shade replication depends on material to liquor ratio. It has been shown that relatively low concentration of formaldehyde (2% OWF) produces more improvements in the crease recovery on cotton than rayon65. Too much bulky or tight stitch must be avoided in elasticated areas. sewing threads. mostly. seams. 143°C) without any 17 Volume 89.

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Fabrics and garments cured at low temperature shows lower tensile and tear strength loss than at high temperatures. 22. p 49.’ American Dyestuff Reporter. ‘Developing Novel Effects to Enhance Garment Dyeing. the softeners also act as sewing lubricant. ‘Single Side Crosslinking : An Approach for Garment Dyeable Cotton Fabrics. 1986. 28.’ Colourage. Mumbai. no 3. 25. vol 48. 1994. vol 78. R O Brown. Annual Issue. M Dixon.Part II. perhaps due to increased hairiness. 1999. p 52.’ Journal of Society of Dyers and Colorists. vol 9. no 10. 1996. p 51. ‘Garment Dyeing with Fibre Reactive Dyes. S Y Kamat and E W Menezes. protects threads from breaking and fusing. application of hydrophobic softeners and tend to give warmer contact feeling69. J Fan. 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Loss in tensile strength occurs as high as ~60% is observed in the cotton and fortisan fabric mostly as the result of the unavoidable acid hydrolytic degradation that accompanies the formaldehyde treatment. REFERENCES 1. ‘Emerging Technologies and Trends in Garment Wet Processing. no 11.improvement in WRA. 1991. vol 41. ‘Garment Wash. 8. ‘Exhaust Dyeing with Pigments on Cotton Piece and Garments. vol 48. ‘Garment Dyeing . The surface friction increases in untreated fabrics after washing compared to the treated fabric. 26. ‘Speciality Finishes for Value Enhancement. ‘Understanding the Basics in Garment Dyeing. no 5. 7. C W Stewart. R M Reinhardt and J C Arthur. p 85. vol 77. besides various accessories attached to them. ‘Wrinkle Resistant Cotton by Photoinitiated Reaction with N-Methylolacrylamide Followed by Cross Linking Reactions. collars. S J Bell. no 2. The release of formaldehyde in DMDHEU treated fabrics decreases with the addition of scavengers. 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