Finishing (textiles) - Special Finishes For Synthetic Fibers

Special Finishes For Synthetic Fibers

Heat-setting of synthetic fabrics eliminates the internal tensions within the fiber, generated during manufacturing, and the new state can be fixed by rapid cooling. This heat setting fixes the fabrics in the relaxed state, and thus avoids subsequent shrinkage or creasing of the fabric. Presetting of goods makes it possible to use higher temperature for setting without considering the sublimation properties of dyes and also has a favorable effect on dyeing behavior and the running properties of the fabric. On the other hand, post-setting can be combined with some other operations such as Thermasol dyeing or optical brightening of polyester. Post-setting as a final finish is useful to achieve high dimensional stability, along with desired handle. Heat-setting is an important part in textile finishing.

Stiffening and filling process: A stiffening effect is desirable in certain polyamides and polyester materials (e.g. petticoats, collar inner linings), which can be done by reducing the mutual independence of structural elements of fabric by polymer deposition on coating as a fine film.

Hydrophilic finishes compensate for lower moisture and water absorption capacity in synthetic fiber materials, which become uncomfortable in contact with skin. Certain products, based on modified (oxy-ethylated) polyamides, make the fabric more pleasant by reducing the cohesion of water so that it spreads over a larger area and thus evaporates more readily.

Anti-pilling finish alleviates pilling, an unpleasant phenomenon associated with spun yarn fabrics, especially when they contain synthetics. Synthetic fibers are more readily brought to the surface of a fabric due to their smooth surface and circular cross-section, and due to their higher tensile strength and abrasion resistance. With knit "picking" also occurs: by abrasion, individual fibers work themselves out of yarn loops onto the surface, and the garment catches on a pointed or rough object. Knitting is susceptible to these effects due to the open weave and bulky yarn.

Anti-static finish prevents dust from clinging to the fabric. Anti-static effective chemicals are largely chemically inert and require Thermasol or heat treatment for fixing on polyester fabrics. Polyether agents have been found to be useful but should not affect the dye-equilibrium on fiber, lest they impair the rubbing fastness. In general, Thermasol anti-static agents also have a good soil release action, which is as permanent as the anti-static effect. Anti-static finishes may also be of polyamide type, being curable at moderate temperatures.

Non-slip finishes give the filaments a rougher surface. Synthetic warp and weft threads in loosely-woven fabrics are particularly prone to slip because of their surface smoothness when the structure of fabric is disturbed and appearance is no longer attractive. Silica gel dispersions or silicic acid colloidal solutions are used in combination with latex polymer or acrylates dispersions to get more permanent effect, along with simultaneous improvement in resistance to pilling or snagging. These polymer finishes are also capable of imparting a soft and smooth handle to synthetic fabric without making it water repellent.

Fire Resistant or Flame Retardant finish: to reduce flammability.

Anti-microbial finish: with the increasing use of synthetic fibers for carpets and other materials in public places, anti-microbial finishes have gained importance. Products which are commonly applied are brominated phenols, quaternary ammonium compounds, organo-silver and tin compounds, which can be applied as solutions or dispersions. They can also be incorporated in a polymeric film deposited on the surface to achieve controlled release.

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