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Effect of Solvent Treatments on the Handle of Wool Fabrics
Christopher M. Carr and Philip J. Weedall Textile Research Journal 1989 59: 45 DOI: 10.1177/004051758905900106 The online version of this article can be found at: http://trj.sagepub.com/content/59/1/45

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simplified rate equations are 38-40, and the corresponding diagnostic formulas are Equations 38 *-40 *.


rate constant. The

ity on Cotton, USDA, ARS, Production Research Report
No. 97, 1967. 8. Montalvo, J. G., Jr., Adhesion of Dust on Cotton, in "Proc. 5th Cotton Dust Res. Conf., Beltwide Cotton Prod. Res. Conf.," P. J. Wakelyn, Ed., National Cotton Council Am., Memphis, TN, 1981, pp. 53-54. 9. Montalvo, J. G., Jr., Aerodynamic Removal of Native Dust from Cotton, Textile Res. J. 57, 133-141 (1987). 10. Montalvo, J. G., Jr., Ed., Cotton Dust: Controlling an Occupational Health Hazard, ACS Symposium Series 189, American Chemical Society, Washington, D.C., 1982. 11. Montalvo, J. G., Jr., Baril, A., Jr., and Weller, H. W., Jr., Theoretical Approach to Dust Removal from Prebaled Cotton, in "Proc. 6th Cotton Dust Res. Conf., Beltwide Cotton Prod. Res. Conf.," P. J. Wakelyn, Ed., National Cotton Council Am., Memphis. TN, 1982, pp.

Literature Cited

Anthony, W. S., and Columbus, E. P., Principles of Dust
Removal in Gin Machinery: Theoretical and Measured, Trans. ASME 107, 288-294 (1985). Capellos, C., and Bielski, B. H. J., "Kinetic Systems," Robert Krieger Publishing Co., 1980. Columbus, E. P., and Anthony, W. S., Preliminary Investigation of the Removal of Fine Dust With Lint Cleaners, in "Proc. 6th Cotton Dust Res. Conf., Beltwide Cotton Prod. Res. Conf.," P. J. Wakelyn, Ed., National Cotton Council Am., Memphis, TN, 1982, pp. 71-73. Ensminger, D., Montalvo, J. G., Jr., and Baril, A., Jr., Application of Ultrasonic Forces to Remove Dust From 242-246 Cotton, Trans. ASME 106, (1984). Griffin, A. C., Jr., and Bargeron, J. D., Evaluation of Multiple Stage Lint and Milling Cleaning for Controlling Cotton Dust Levels in Cardrooms, USDA Marketing Report No. 1110, 1980. Mangialardi, G. J., A Research Report on Lint Cleaning, Cotton Gin Oil Mill Press ( November 30, 1968). Mangialardi, G. J., and McCaskill, O. L., Effects of GridBar Wash on Efficiency of Lint Cleaners and Fiber Qual-




12. Montalvo, J. G., Jr., and Rousselle, M. A.. Modeling Total Particulate Measurement in Cotton, Textile Res.


57, J. 10-19 (1982).
13. Montalvo, J. G., Jr., Thibodeaux, D. P.. and Evans. J. P., Aerodynamic Force Required to Detach Bract and Leaf Dust Dispersed on Cotton, Am. Ind. Hyg. Assoc. J. 45, 833-840 (1984).
Manuscript received November 4, 1986. accepted Apn! b. 1988.


Effect of Solvent Treatments


the Handle of Wool Fabrics


College of Textiles, Netherdale, Galashiels, Scotland

The KES-F system has been used to investigate solvent treatments of wool, in particular dry cleaning and solvent scouring. Solvent scouring is compared to similar aqueous treatments by both objective and subjective measurements.

Solvent processing of wool textiles is relatively limited, the main application being the dry cleaning of fabrics with perchloroethylene. Other potential growth areas for the use of solvents in processing are milling, dyeing, carbonization, and scouring [ 8 ].

study the effects of dry cleaning and solvent scouring the handle of wool fabrics are compared with similar aqueous processes using the KFS-F apparatus ( Kawabata evaluatidn system for fabncs) [4].
In this

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TABLE I. Mechanical parameters measured by the KES-F apparatus.

The fabric was 100% wool worsted ( 36S g/ m 2 ), classified as men’s winter suiting. To simulate dry cleaning, the samples were treated with perchloroethylene or perchloroethylene / methanol ( 9:1 ) in a Jeffreys rotadyer for 30 minutes at a wool : liquor ratio of 1:5 and at a temperature of 30 or 50*C. The fabric was dried for 15 minutes at 80°C and finally steam pressed using a Hoffman type press. The

pressing procedure was 30 seconds steam with the press locked, followed by 10 seconds vacuum. To investigate the effect of extended steaming, fabrics were also
steamed for 1, 5, and 10 minutes. The dry cleaning cycle was repeated up to four times, fresh solvent being used with each cycle. After each treatment, the samples were conditioned for one week, and the mechanical properties of the fabrics were measured using the KES-F apparatus.

The fabric was a 100% wool twill (297 g / m 2 ) . The loom state fabric was scoured under three conditions: (a) In 0.2 g/1 sodium carbonate (anhydrous), 10 g/1 Lissapol N at 50°C for 10 minutes, wool: liquor ratio of 1:S0, rinsed in warm water, hydroextracted, and dried. (b) In 0.2 g / sodium carbonate (anhydrous), 10 g/1 soap flakes at 50°C for 10 minutes, wool: liquor ratio of 1:50, rinsed in warm water, hydroextracted and dried. ( c ) In perchloroethylene at 20°C for 5 minutes and tumble dried at 60°C. (Scouring done under

industrial conditions.)

Jhe apparatus [ 4 ] consists of four instruments meathe shear, tensile, bending, surface, and compressional properties of the fabric. The parameters measured (Table I) are related to the fabric handle and


it is important to determine the effect of the pressing the. overall dry cleaned fabric. In this study, steam pressing the wool produces a thinner and stiffer fabric (Table II ), these changes being illustrated by the increases in the mechanical properties B, 2HB, 2HG, 2HG5 and decreases in T and WC. Pressing for 1-10 minutes produces only relatively small changes in comparison to the 30 second steaming, but the same trends occur. Finnimore [ 2 ) has similarly observed that steam pressing of wool causes an increase in the primary hand value koshi ( stiffness ) with a concomitant decrease in fukurami ( fullness and softness ) and numeri (smoothness).


TABLE II. Relative

be converted into primary and total hand .values for the fabric by means of equations developed by Professor Kawabata. Test samples were 20 X 20 cm in the warp and weft directions. For the subjective assessment, eight judges made qualitative assessments of the stiffness, softness, and smoothness of the fabrics. The ranking procedure of each sample was determined using a paired comparison method [ 3 ] .

change’ in the mechanical properties of wool fabric with steam pressing.

Results and Discussion
The process of dry


cleaning consists of two stages, initial solvent treatment followed by a steam press,


Original fabric values are 1.0.

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In contrast, other workers [7] have reported steam pressing produces a decrease in koshi and an increase

TABLE 1V. Relative change’ in the mechanical properties of wool fabric treated with perchloroethylene/methanol at 30 and 50°C.

in numeri and fukurami. Examination of their data shows, however, that the opposite can occur depending on the steam press conditions and fabric used. Therefore the variation we observed in these studies reflects the importance of steam pressing in the final mechanical properties of the finished fabric. Treating wool worsted fabric with perchloroethylene at 30°C produces a decrease in the bending and shear rigidity (B and G) (Table III). The interyarn and interfiber friction also decreases as indicated by the lower 2HG, 2HG5, and 2HB values. We hoped that the perchloroethylene treatment at a higher temperature would further accentuate the reduction in the fabric stiffness and improve the fabric handle, but this treatment at 50°C resulted in a fabric only marginally softer, smoother,, and less stiff.

’ All original fabric values



TABLE III. Relative change’ in the mechanical properties of wool fabric with dry cleaning at 30 and 50°C.

Scouring of loom state fabric can be achieved either in an aqueous or solvent medium, resulting in fabrics of differing handle ( Table V). KES-F measurements indicate that the stiffness decreases in the following order: loom state, solvent scour, nonionic scour, and soap flake scour. Subjective analysis [ 3 ] of the wool ranks the fabrics in the following order:

TABLE V. Mechanical parameters of scoured fabrics. ’ All original fabric values


Okamoto [ 6 ] has reported that dry cleaning at 30°C improves fabric handle, with koshi decreasing and fukurami and numeri increasing. The difference is the pressing conditions, again emphasizing the importance of this step. Apparently the solvent treatment can reduce koshi, but the pressing controls fukurami and numeri.

Treating the wool with perchloroethylene / methanol mixtures improves the abrasion resistance, and other workers have examined it with a view to cleaning wool [ 1, 5 ] . Similarly, we hoped that the presence of the swelling solvent methanol could improve the handle of the fabric. However, we observed no appreciable difference between the mixed solvent and the perchloroethylene treatment alone at 30 and 50°C (Table IV).

We calculated Pearson correlation coefficients to compare the objective with the subjective analysis, and we conducted significance tests on these correlation coefficients at the 0.1, 0.05, and 0.01 levels. The correlation between the objective and subjective analysis was high for the koshi ( stiffness ) primary hand value

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(Table VI), and there was a high correlation between judges for koshi, indicating the subjective differences were highly significant. Although the differences between the koshi values were small, it is interesting to note that the judges were able to differentiate between
the fabrics. We found no significant correlation for numeri and fukurami and the subjective analysis of smoothness and softness, respectively, though again the soap flake scour was regarded as producing the &dquo;best&dquo;

fabrics even though the differences between the koshi values were small.
tween the


We wish to thank Mr. T. McCall for assistance in

preparing the samples, Mrs. J. Bishop and Mrs. F. Graham for KES-F measurements, and Mr. E. MacGregor for helpful discussions. Thanks also to Schofields, Galashiels, for their cooperation and advice in preparing the samples.


TABLE VI. Results of significance test of correlation coefficients for subjective handle against objective measurements.’

Literature Cited

Feldtman, H. D., Leeder, J. A., and Rippon, J. A., The
Role of Fibre Structure in Wool Fibre and Fabric Per-

formance, in "Objective Evaluation of Apparel Fabric," R. Postle, S. Kawabata, and M. Niwa, Eds., Textile Machinery Society of Japan, Osaka, 1983, pp. 125. 2. Finnimore, E., The DWI’s Experience in Objective Handle Measurement, in "Objective Specification of Fabric Quality, Mechanical Properties and Performance," S. Kawabata, R. Postle, and M. Niwa, Eds., Textile Machinery Society of Japan, Osaka, 1982, pp.



at 0.level,

** significant

at 0.05




273. 3. ICI, Fibre Textile Development, Test Method 450, Edn.

at 0.01 level.


Conclusions Dry cleaning alters the mechanical properties of wool worsted fabric; the solvent treatment reduces the stiffness, while the steam press controls the smoothness, fullness, and softness. The perchloroethylene treatment at an elevated temperature or in combination with a swelling agent only marginally affects the mechanical properties in comparison to the normal perchloroethylene treatment.
of loom state fabric imparts the fabric. The soap flake scour produces fabric with the best handle; the judges in the sufijective measurement were able to differentiate be-

Kawabata, S., "The Standardisation and Analysis of Hand Evaluation," 2nd ed., The Textile Machinery Society of Japan, Osaka, Japan,1980.

5. Meechels, J.,

Derminot, J., Knott, J., and Bredereck, K.,

Treatment of Textiles in an Organic Solvent Medium, Commission of European Communities - Industrial Processes, Luxemburg, 1980. 6. Okamoto, Y., and Niwa, M., Changes of Mechanical Properties and Handle of Fabrics for Men’s Suits by Dry Cleaning, J. Jpn. Res. Assn. Textile End-Users 23, 293-





worst handle to wool

Shiomi, S., and Niwa, M., Changes in Mechanical Properties and Hand of Woven Fabrics Caused by Steam Pressing, J. Textile Mach. Soc. Jpn. 33, T40-T52 (1980). 8. White, M. A., Processing of Wool in Solvent Media, Part 2, Wool Sci. Rev. 53, (1977). 50-67
Manuscript received January 14. 1988: accepted March 8, 1988.

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