Natural Protein Fibre

• All proteins are polymers of amino acids.

The sequence and type of amino acids making up the individual protein chains contribute to the overall properties of the resultant fiber. .• Definition: The protein fibers are formed by natural animal sources through condensation of amino acids to form repeating polyamide units with various substituent on the carbon atom.

.Side groups in protein fibre.

. They can be covalent bonds or ionic bonds.Cross links • Cross-links are bonds that link one polymer chain to another.



Wool quality number .

Morphology of wool .

75 Grease 5 -15 Moisture 10 – 12 Suint 2 – 12 Sand & dirt 4 – 30 Vegetable matter 0 . % Keratin 45.Chemical composition of wool • • • • • • comp.5 .

Protein as a ampholytes • Ampholytes are molecules containing both acidic and basic groups. • All of the common amino acids found in proteins are ampholytes because they contain a carboxyl group (-COOH) that acts as an acid and an amino group (-NH2) that acts as a base. .

4 to 7.3 Nitrogen 16.7 Oxygen 20.0 .7 to 5.2 to 17.7 to 25.5 Hydrogen 6.Composition of wool keratin • • • • • Carbon 50.3 to 52.0 Sulphur 0.

• Grease : it is soluble in organic solvents like ester of fatty acids or monohydric consist of potassium salt of fatty acids and organic amino acids. • Suint : it is soluble in water and can be isolated form wool by aqueous extraction. .• Keratin : it is form by 15 to 20 amino acids gets condensed with each other and form polypeptide chains with condensed matter and COOH Group.

8 to 10 gm.Physical properties of wool • Length (3. medium 8 -14 and course 8 • Breaking strength: fine 4. medium 10 – 16 gm and for course 20 – 24 gm .6 cm to 15 cm) • Cross-section – circular to elliptical • Crimp – 0 to 30 cirmps per inch fine 14 -22 .

Burning : it catechus fire and burn.• Wool is hydroscopic in nature its moisture content 12 to 15 % at 60 % RH And at RH 70 to 80 % moisture content is 17 to 18 %. . Electrical conductivity: bad conductor of electricity.

. If it returned to moist air again absorbs moisture rapidly.• Action of heat: Heat at 100 0C over a long period it loses moisture and fibre becomes harsh loses strength. If the 100 0C is exceeded any length of time it decompose will acquire yellow color.

As humidity increases Wool loses its rigidity almost completely in boiling water become highly plastic. .Effect of water and steam • wool changes its shape and affinity to dye when exposed to water or steam. • Wool size increased in cold or hot water but on drying again return to its own size. • Plastic propertyif wool is in dry state is deformed by imposing some fibre will recover its strain fibre will recover its original form.

Action of acid • Wool absorbs an acid from soln of acid and holds it firmly even after washing with water due to some amino groups. Which increases the capacity of wool to combine with acids. • Nitric acid – color changes to bright yellow • Dilute acid – prolong heating causes to hydrolysis of keratin to a mixture of amino acids. . • Hydrolysis of peptide linkages results in formation of free carboxyl group.

It loses all desirable properties of wool. • Dilute mineral acid changes its appearance but not causes changes in physical properties. .• Wool react immediately with HCl & H2 So4 and become brittle and hard. surface scales of fibre are all deformed.

Action of Alkalies • Action of caustic soda or NaOH. • Strength of wool increases when treated with 15 % NaOH at 19 0C for 5 min. • Strong Alkali may act in diff way it hydrolyse main polypeptide chain of protein breaking them down in salt of amino asid.5 % soln completely dissolve wool in few min at boiling temp. .

Action of Oxidising agent • Strong Soln of H202. . K2Cr2O7 damage wool more or less depending on temp and PH. • Oxidising agent attack disulphide group of Cystine resulting in lower strength weight loss.

disulphide group forming sulphydryl group .Action of Reducing agent • Reducing agent attack keratin group.

if exposure is prolonged.Effect of sun light and age • UV rays of the sun cause breakage of the disulfide bonds of cystine which results in photo chemical oxidation. This causes degradation and. eventual destruction. However wool has better resistance to sunlight than cotton. • No sever effect of age if stored after cleaning. .

• But the stains on wool attacked by them and destroy fibre. .Biological properties • Wool has resistance to bacteria and mildew.

These chemical are durable to wash and dry cleaning. • Thus it is necessary to prevent wool fiber from these insects. • Thus some chemical are applied that react with the wool and change molecules of wool and makes them uneatable to insects. • Some chemical are applied on wool fibre that will kill the insects. . These finishes need frequent renewing . washing drycleaning removes it.Chemical modification in wool fibre • As wool is a protein and readily considered as a food for several types of insects.

. • Mild soap and detergents are used for washing. For bleaching hydrogen peroxide can be used. as they break cystine linkages and damage fibres.Use and care of wool • Wool has high crease recovery and elasticity when it is dry and lower when it is wet. • Chlorine bleaches can not be use for bleaching. • So dry-cleaning and pressing of wool is easy but washing is not easy.

So these fabrics should not wash with hot water. . • Store after cleaning and washing • Finish effect on scales.• Some wool fabrics are labeled as washable. These fabrics are finished with some special finish or nylon fibres are mixed with wool fibres.

Books • Textile science by E P G Gohl • Introductory Textile science M L Joseph • Textile fibre H V S Murthy .

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful