Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Garment Enzyme Washing Procedure

Stones are not only  abrasive to garments but also to the equipment.
Stones can create sludge in waste treatment systems.

Cellulase enzyme is a particular strain of enzyme derived from microorganisms  selective to cotton form of  cellulose and not to starch.  They attack 1  - 4 beta glucoside linkages resulting in reduced molecular weight and therefore removal of surface fiber.

Main factors  that control enzyme washing:
1  -  pH
2- temperature
3- time
4 -  concentration
5 - mechanical action

Once the reaction takes place, the mechanical action between garments and
equipment as well as between garments femoves weaker fibers resulting a cleaner,
smoother surface.  Stones may be added to enhance the abrasion.


Load garments (addition of  stones optional)
Desize for starch
-  alpha-amalase enzyme or
-  oxidative desize


Adjust pH to 4.5 - 5.0 with
-  acetic acid or  a buffer system

Heat to 50 to 60 C ( 122  - 140  F)

Add cellulase enzyme
Tumble for 30 - 60 minutes

*Deactivation step   -  rinse hot  >  65° C

Rinse cold

Soften and/or optically brighten

Tumble dry

*Deactivation of  the cellulase enzyme to prevent further weight reduction
can be done by temperatures in excess of  60 C (140 F)  and/or at a pH
higher than 5.0.

Cellulase enzymes may be used as an aftertreatment to clean up surfaces of garments which have become fuzzy during garment dyeing.  The shade of  the dyed garments may change which requires preliminary lab work to determine if this will be a problem or not.

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