Care of PLA Textiles

David Karst, Michelle Hain, Yiqi Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The appropriate laundering conditions for the care of polylactide (PLA) textiles have been found. One problem with PLA is its poor resistance to hydrolysis and dramatic loss in strength at conditions typically used in textile processing such as alkaline conditions and elevated temperatures. In this study, PLA fabrics underwent 50 home laundering cycles at various pH levels (8 or 10), washing temperatures (35°C or 55°C), and drying conditions (line dry at 21°C/65% relative humidity or tumble dry at 50 or 70°C). After every 10 laundering cycle, the breaking tenacity, breaking elongation, and modulus of yarns in the PLA fabric were measured. It was found that washing PLA fabrics at pH 8 and 35°C and line drying it at 21°C and 65% relative humidity resulted in greater retention in mechanical properties than washing them at pH 10 and 55°C and tumble drying at 70°C. The authors therefore recommend the following care instructions for PLA textiles: use mild detergents with relatively low pH (pH 8), machine wash cold (35°C), and line dry. If machine drying is desired, tumble dry at the low heat setting or permanent press setting (50°C) is recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-74
Number of pages6
JournalResearch Journal of Textile and Apparel
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2009


  • Care
  • Dyeing
  • Laundering
  • PLA
  • Polylactic Acid
  • Polylactide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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