Softening of Textile

The treatments which make the fabric more flexible and impart the impression of softness are known as Softening.
Softness generally comes from making of the fabric more flexible and decreasing inter fiber friction. Softness of the fabric can be enhanced by chemical or mechanical treatment.
Characteristics of Softening: The characteristics of Softening is given below,
  1. The hand imparted and the property of softening agent depends on the physical state of the softener, its chemical nature and behavior of the fabric.
  2. Low viscosity liquid softener produces a flexible and silky handle.
  3. Solid softener provides lubrication properties.
  4. Softeners are sometimes implicated in quality and environmental problem.
  5. The tendency of some softeners to develop a yellowish colour which is undesirable especially in white fabric.
  6. Some softener adversely affects light and rubbing fastness of dyes.
Types of Softener: The Softener is five types. They are:
  1. Anionic Softener (-ve).
  2. Cationic Softener (+ve).
  3. Non-ionic Softener (Neutral).
  4. Amphoteric Softener (±ve).
  5. Others (Silicone, polyethylene, emulsion).
 Feature of Anionic Softener:

  1. They are usually surfactant and negatively charged group material.
  2. They provide good lubrications and improve the performance of fabrics and impart a soft handle on the surface of textile materials.
  3. They are also good foaming agents.
  4. The cationic softeners do not yellow the fabrics.
  5. Less softness is found than cationic and non-ionic softeners.
  6. They have good wetting characteristics.
  7. They have no inherent affinity to textile.
  8. Most suitable for application of padding method.

 Feature of Cationic Softener:

  1. They are surfactants and positively charged group materials.
  2. They contain an N-atom of primary, secondary or tertiary amine which becomes positively charged (+ve) in acidic medium.
  3. Suitable for exhaust method.
  4. Commonly used in home laundering products.
  5. It may affect shade and fastness properties of dyes.
  6. It has tendency of yellowing the fabric.
  7. It also makes the fabric soil repellent.


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