WOOLTEX - Surface processes to attain environmental compatible high added value textiles

Flanders, Belgium Piedmont, Italy

The WOOLTEX project targeted to improve the diffusion of the dye into the wool fiber at lower temperatures compared to traditional methods by means of atmospheric plasma pressure pre-treatment.

Traditional wool finishing operations are carried out in wet processes; in particular, dyeing represents one of the most expensive processes in terms of energy and water consumption. Moreover, the high temperature of these processes can weaken the fibre structure and consequently make worse chemical and mechanical properties.

Recent applied research results have proven that effects of low temperature plasma (LTP) treatments can positively affect wool dye-ability and allow radical modification of wool dyeing process. Results showed that all the studied LTP treatments can modify the dyeing properties in terms of dyeing temperature, half dyeing time and final dye bath exhaustion, without affecting significantly fastness to organic solvent, to artificial light and to rubbing. LTP treatments of wool fabrics will open up the possibility of developing more economical and ecological dyeing processes.

Within WOOLTEX Project an innovative environmental friendly and sustainable dyeing process for wool textile was performed.

Reduction in energy (70%) and water consumption (44%) was achieved since a low temperature and continuous (in-line) process was developed. The industrial tests carried out demonstrated the reliability of the process and the scale-up in the production line. The innovative process will allow a better management of big volumes of monochrome wool fabric and an improvement of uniformity of the colour shade.

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