Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Liquid ammonia treatments for finishing cellulosic materials

The linen industries must find a solution for the high creasing and the difficult washing and ironing of linen goods. Liquid ammonia treatments may provide a solution to these problems. Thus, the effect of liquid ammonia treatments on the properties of the flax fibre were studies. The effect of treatments on the technological characteristics of the fabrics comprised the mechanical resistance and elasticity, crease recovery, wash and wear behaviour, colour fastness and the mechanical properties at low degrees of deformation (related to the handle of the fabric). In order to study the effect of finishing treatments, laboratory scale finishing trials were performed, which included dry crosslinking, humid crosslinking and wet crosslinking with different types of auxiliary finishing agents.

It can be concluded that liquid ammonia treatments are of great interest with respect to linen fabrics because they result in:
a considerable improvement of the wash and wear properties:
a longer maintenance of the fabric after repeated washing cycles and ease of care:
improved crease recovery;
higher affinity to colorants and resins;
an acceptable level of mechanical strength.

Originally an improved handle was expected. Indeed, the ammonia treated fabrics are characterised by a full and firm handle. However, because of recent trends towards extreme suppleness, the ammonia treatment produces no advantage in this respect. Research was limited to 100% flax fabrics for apparel fabrics and the examined fabrics were almost exclusively made from wet spun yarns.

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