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APRIL 2005 293

Hand-Related Mechanical Behavior of Enzyme-Treated Yarns
Part II: Influence of Fiber Disposition

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332, U.S.A.

Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama 36849, U.S.A.

In the second part of our two-part study, we attempt to understand the influence of
enzyme treatment on the properties of bicomponent yarns that exhibit systematic differ-
ences in fiber arrangement within the yarn. Our results show that the treatment alters the
properties of a ring spun, random blended, polyester-cotton yarn more than it alters the
properties of a corresponding sheath-core yarn. Results also reveal that the treatment has
a different influence on the properties of two friction spun cotton-polyester yarns, one
made with a staple polyester core and the other with a multifilament polyester core. The
weight losses suffered by the treated yarns are also influenced by the fiber arrangements
within the yarn.

In Part I of this work [6], we compared the bending as warp yarns on high speed shuttleless looms. A DREF-III
and compression properties of treated and untreated friction spinning machine was used to produce yarns 4
yarns representing ring, rotor, air-jet, and friction and 5, where as yarn 3 was made on a rotor spinning
spinning systems, and we concluded that the treatment machine, mainly because it is not feasible to make a
produced desirable property changes in yarns repre- 100% cotton yarn on the DREF-III machine. Yarn 3 was
senting all four spinning systems. Thus, Part I looked included in the group to understand how the treatment
at the inherent differences in the hand-related mechan- influences the properties of a 100% cotton yarn with
ical behavior of spun yarns corresponding to different approximately the same count as the two friction yarns.
spinning systems, and how these differences are mod- All conditions of enzyme treatment except the treat-
erated by a cellulase enzyme treatment. In Part II, we ment duration were identical to those described in Part I
attempt to evaluate the impact of enzyme treatment on [6] of this study. The treatment time was 30 minutes for
the hand-related properties of spun yarns exhibiting all yarns.
different fiber arrangements within the yarns. Specif- We used the Kawabata compression and bending
ically, we look at the influence of the treatment on the testers to measure the compression and bending proper-
properties of bicomponent yarns representing random ties of the treated and untreated yarns. The test proce-
fiber disposition and core-sheath construction. We also
dures employed and the property parameters measured
investigate the effect of using continuous filaments as
for the compression and bending tests were identical to
opposed to cut staple fibers in the core of bicomponent
those described in Part I.
The average breaking load and breaking elongation of
the treated and untreated yarns were measured on the
Materials and Methods Instron tester. Average values were computed on the
Particulars of the experimental yarns are given in basis of 30 tests for each yarn. Other test conditions were
Table I. The two medium count ring yarns (yarns 1 and similar to those described in Part I.
2) were made from the same fiber stock with the same We used a scanning electron microscope to observe
amount of twist. They both were knitting yarns with surface changes in treated yarns and fibers. A Hitachi
about 18% less twist than that of corresponding warp S-800 scanning electron microscope captured the mag-
yarns. Yarns 3, 4, and 5 represented coarse counts (above nified images of individual fibers on the surface of
60 tex) with twist levels considered appropriate for use treated and untreated yarns.

Textile Res. J. 75(4), 293–296 (2005) DOI:10.1177/0040517505054841 © 2005 Sage Publications

TABLE I. Experimental yarns.

No. Description of yarn sample Yarn count, tex Treatment time, hours % Weight loss

1 Ring spun intimate blend (35P:65C) 21.1 0.5 1.03
2 Ring spun polyester staple core/cotton sheath (35P:65C) 21.1 0.5 0.85
3 100% Cotton rotor spun 101.8 0.5 1.0
4 Friction spun polyester staple core/cotton sheath (35P:65C) 83.2 0.5 1.9
5 Friction spun polyester filament core/cotton sheath (35P:65C) 90.8 0.5 0.51

Results and Discussion ness of the two friction yarns cannot explain the four
times higher weight loss of the staple-core yarn. Thus,
WEIGHT LOSS OF TREATED YARNS substituting cut staple fibers with a twistless multifila-
The weight losses of the five different yarns are shown ment yarn in the core of the bicomponent friction yarn
in Table I. Of the two ring yarns, one would expect the appears to improve its structural integrity, especially the
core-sheath yarn to show a higher weight loss compared tangling between the sheath fibers and the core yarn. The
to the intimate blend yarn, because of the preferential ends of the sheath fibers trapped between filaments of the
positioning of the cotton fibers on the surface of the yarn. core yarn can be expected to be held more firmly than the
However, the results indicate that the weight loss of the ends of the sheath fibers held between staple fibers of the
core-sheath yarn is less than that of the intimate blend core yarn. Also, substituting the staple-fiber core with a
yarn. We used the USDA patented ring frame attachment multifilament core may be associated with a significant
[8, 9] to produce the core-sheath yarn. This attachment change in the sheath-core contact area. It is not clear
wraps a well aligned and compacted ribbon of sheath from this work which factor or factors contribute to the
fibers on the polyester core, thereby forcing the sheath improved sheath fiber integrity of the filament-core yarn.
fibers to remain fully extended and in close contact with
each other as they are incorporated into the yarn. The INFLUENCE OF ENZYME TREATMENT ON
sheath fiber wrapping conditions therefore create a very COMPRESSION PROPERTIES
compact sheath with fewer fibers protruding from yarn
The compression properties listed in Table II suggest
surface. The close packing of surface fibers and the low
that enzyme treatment increases compression energy
hairiness of the yarn appear to be responsible for the
(WC) and percent thickness compression (EMC%), while
lower weight loss shown by the core-sheath yarn. Com-
reducing the compressive resilience (RC%). This trend in
paring the weight loss of the ring spun staple-core yarn
compression properties is in complete agreement with
with that of the friction spun staple-core yarn, we see that
that observed in Part I. Also, past work [4, 7] involving
the friction yarn accounts for roughly 2.2 times the
correlations between subjective and objective measures
weight loss of the ring yarn, despite the fact that the
suggests that this trend in compression properties corre-
friction yarn is much coarser than the ring yarn. While
sponds to an improvement in softness perception. Thus,
we don’t have any measured data to support the conten-
the measured compression parameters provide a clear
tion that the excess weight loss of the friction yarn may
indication that enzyme treatment improves the softness
be due to fiber separation, the lack of conditions for
of all five yarns. Considering the extent of change in
effective interlocking of fibers in the friction yarn [5,
compression properties shown by different yarns, the
1–3] as well as the greater likelihood of fiber breakage in
maximum change, and hence maximum improvement, in
the friction spinning process [2, 3, 5] can be considered
compression behavior is associated with the ring spun
to contribute to the greater weight loss of the friction
random blend yarn. Before enzyme treatment, the core-
spun yarn showed properties indicating greater softness.
Comparing the weight losses of the staple-core and
However, the two yarns showed almost identical com-
filament-core friction yarns, we see that the percent loss
pression properties after enzyme treatment, suggesting
suffered by the staple-core yarn is roughly four times that
that the treatment had a greater influence on the softness
suffered by the filament-core yarn. When we planned this
of the random blended yarn.
work, we attempted to keep the count and twist of the
two friction yarns the same. We managed to keep the
wrapping twist of the two yarns the same, but the staple-
core yarn turned out to be slightly finer than the filament-
core yarn. While finer yarns can be expected to show a Table III shows the measured bending rigidity values
higher percent weight loss, the small difference in fine- of the experimental yarns. We have seen that the treat-
APRIL 2005 295

TABLE II. Comparison of compression properties of treated and untreated yarns.

PET staple Friction spun Friction spun
Intimate core/cotton Rotor spun PET staple PET filament
Property blend P/C sheath P/C 100% cotton core/cotton sheath core/cotton sheath

LC, linearity of load versus
thickness curve
Untreated 0.3897 0.39185 0.42485 0.4237 0.37075
Treated 0.37725 0.36275 0.4387 0.4157 0.3622
95% Sig. no yes no no no
WC, g/cm, compression energy
(work of compression)
Untreated 0.1424 0.160 0.2639 0.2162 0.2307
Treated 0.1999 0.1941 0.3379 0.2720 0.2676
95% Sig. yes yes yes yes yes
RC%, percent compressive resilience
Untreated 39.69 35.82 42.51 41.08 38.96
Treated 32.93 32.71 39.58 38.21 35.07
95% Sig. yes yes yes yes yes
EMC%, percent thickness reduction
Untreated 39.37 44.58 38.13 38.54 37.23
Treated 52.47 54.00 42.02 41.01 43.47
95% Sig. yes yes yes yes yes

ment accounts for a reduction in bending rigidity of all pression, bending, and tensile properties compared to the
five yarns, and that the magnitude of change is larger core-sheath yarn. Therefore, the random blend yarn re-
than that observed in Part I. The bending hysteresis value quires less severe treatment conditions compared to the
(2HB) does not show a clear trend with respect to en- sheath-core yarn. Third, the rotor spun 100% cotton yarn
zyme treatment, thus agreeing with the trend in Part I. shows significant improvement in bending and compres-
The reasons for the absence of a consistent trend are the sion properties with a strength loss of less than 10%. The
same as those described in Part I. If anything, the yarn treatment conditions therefore appear to be appropriate
surfaces of the treated experimental yarns show more for the cotton yarn. Fourth, between the two friction
disturbance than seen in Part I yarns. yarns, the staple-core yarn shows more than 10%
strength loss, while the strength loss of the filament-core
INFLUENCE OF ENZYME TREATMENT ON YARN yarn is not statistically significant. This implies that the
TENSILE PROPERTIES treatment conditions should be less severe than that used in
Measured yarn properties (Table IV) provide an oppor- our study for the staple-core yarn, but they can be more
tunity to arrive at some preliminary conclusions on the severe for the filament-core yarn. Fifth, the treatment con-
applicability of the treatment conditions for different yarns. ditions do not lead to a significant drop in the breaking
A comparison of the properties of the treated and elongation of any of the five experimental yarns. In fact, the
untreated yarns reveals the following: First, based on breaking elongation of the enzyme-treated cotton yarn
strength loss, the treatment conditions used on the two shows a 12% increase, and we have no clues at this stage as
medium count ring yarns appear to be a little more severe to what specific factors may be responsible for this in-
than needed for optimal yarn properties. Second, under creased yarn elongation. Further investigations are needed
identical treatment conditions, the ring yarn representing to understand the factors contributing to the improved
random fiber distribution shows a greater change in com- breaking elongation of the cotton yarn.

TABLE III. Comparison of bending properties of treated and untreated yarns.

PET staple Friction spun Friction spun
Intimate core/cotton Rotor spun PET staple PET filament
Property blend P/C sheath P/C 100% cotton core/cotton sheath core/cotton sheath

B,, bending rigidity
Untreated 0.0061 0.0278 0.0088 0.0157 0.1379
Treated 0.0046 0.0248 0.0059 0.0138 0.1275
95% Sig. yes yes yes yes yes

TABLE IV. Comparison of the tensile properties of treated and untreated yarns.

PET staple Friction spun Friction spun
Intimate core/cotton Rotor spun PET staple core/ PET filament
Property blend P/C sheath P/C 100% cotton cotton sheath core/cotton sheath

B L, lb, breaking load
Untreated 0.98607 1.079 2.2287 1.874 3.974
Treated 0.7552 0.9219 2.0245 1.531 3.8165
% Change ⫺23.41 ⫺14.56 ⫺9.16 ⫺18.17 ⫺3.97
95% Sig. yes yes yes yes no
B E, %, percent breaking elongation
Untreated 11.23 11.55 11.19 12.27 17.99
Treated 11.29 11.33 12.61 12.11 17.89
% Change 0.54 ⫺1.8 12.67 ⫺1.27 ⫺0.55
95% Sig. no no yes no no

To ensure that the treatment conditions in this study
1. Klein, W., “The Technology of Short-Staple Spinning,
produce significant surface changes in the cotton fibers,
Short-staple Spinning Series,” vol. 4, The Textile Institute,
we examined the treated and untreated cotton yarns un- Manchester, U.K., 1987.
der a scanning electron microscope. A comparison of 2. Klein, W., “New Spinning Systems, Short-staple Spinning
micrographs of treated and untreated fibers reveals that Series,” vol. 5, The Textile Institute, Manchester, U.K.,
the treatment conditions used in Parts I and II of this 1993.
work cause noticeable changes in the surface condition 3. Krause, H. W., Staple-Fiber Spinning Systems, J. Textile
of the cotton fibers. Inst. 76(3), 185–195 (1985).
4. Lord, P.R., and Radhakrishnaiah, P., Assessment of the
Conclusions Tactile Properties of Woven Fabrics Made from Various
Types of Staple Fiber Yarn, J. Textile Inst. 79(1), 32–52
The direction of change in the compression and bend- (1988).
ing properties of the treated yarns is similar to that of Part 5. Lunenschloss, F. T. I. J., and Brockmanns, K., Mechanism
I of this study, with the observed trends being clearer in of OE-friction Spinning, Int. Textile Bull. Yarn Form. 31(3),
Part II. The treated yarns show increased compression 29 –59 (1985).
energy (WC), increased thickness compression (EMC%), 6. Radhakrishnaiah, P., He, J., Cook, F. L., and Buschle-Diller,
and reduced compressive resilience (RC%), all of which G., Hand-Related Mechanical Behavior of Enzyme Treated
indicate an improvement in the compressive softness of Yarns, Part I: Role of the Spinning System, Textile Res. J.
the yarns [7]. The treated yarns also show a reduction in 75, 265–273 (2005).
bending rigidity (B), which implies that they can be bent 7. Radhakrishnaiah, P., and Sawhney, A. P. S., Low Stress
with less effort. As expected, finer yarns show larger Mechanical Behavior of Cotton/Polyester Yarns and Fabrics
percent changes in bending, compression, and tensile in Relation to Fiber Distribution Within the Yarn, Textile
properties compared to coarser yarns. Between the two Res. J. 66(2), 99 –103 (1996).
8. Sawhney, A. P. S., Robert, K.Q., Ruppenicker, G. F., and
ring yarns representing random fiber distribution and
Kimmel, L. B., Improved Method of Producing a Cotton
core-sheath construction, the yarn with the random fiber
Covered/Polyester Staple-Core Yarn on a Ring Spinning
disposition is more sensitive to the treatment than the
Frame, Textile Res. J. 62, 21–25 (1992).
core-sheath yarn. Between the staple-fiber core and fila- 9. Sawhney, A. P. S., Robert, K. Q., and Ruppenicker, G. F.,
ment-core friction yarns, the one with the staple-fiber Device for Producing Staple-Core/Cotton-Wrap Ring Spun
core loses more strength, suggesting that this yarn may Yarns, Textile Res. J. 59(9), 519 –524 (1984).
require a less severe treatment compared to the filament-
core yarn. Manuscript received August 25, 2003; accepted April 16, 2004.