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Biofinishing of Cotton Fabrics with Cellulases

Résultats exploitables

Cellulase finishing has been established mainly in the 1990s, to produce a variety of desirable or fashionable effects. Although the use of cellulase finishing of cotton fabrics has been increasing very rapidly, the cellulases used sofar have been mainly crude mixtures causing unacceptable levels of fabric strength loss. Furthermore, the overdosing of the enzymes and the unoptimized cellulase composition of the commercial preparates has lead to low reproducibility of the processes. This project has been designed to answer the above-mentioned industrial needs of the textile finishing industry - increased use of enzyme finishing based on better controlled cellulase processes. In a first stage, individual cellulase components from genetically modified Trichoderma reesei strains have been purified. A detailed study has been carried out to elucidate the effects of individual cellulase components (and selected mixtures) on cotton fabric properties. The effect of cellulases on both knitted and woven fabrics have been studied. Micro-scale tests have been performed with the purified enzymes, while semi-scale tests have been performed with commercial and experimental cellulase mixtures mimicking the cellulase composition optimized with purified cellulases. In a second stage, these optimized cellulase mixtures have been produced in larger scale and the corresponding enzymatic treatments with respect to process parameters have been optimized, simulating treatments in various textile processing machinery. Special emphasis has been given on improving handle and pilling control without the severity of degradation associated with less well optimized systems by careful control of the synergies between different enzyme components. Finally, industrial quantities of the optimized cellulase mixtures have been produced and industrial tests were carried out on both woven and knitted fabrics. Garments have been made with the fabrics in order to have the opinion of the customers concerning the new finished products. Methodologies for monitoring cellulase treatments have also been developed. Studies on the effectiveness of enzyme preparations in the stonewashing of denim, as well as the use of a protease product after cellulase washing of denim garments have also been conducted. Commercial development trials of these new products and processes are programmed in the near future. The results are covered by Patent applications.