We report the development of a novel method of improving the wet wrinkle recovery of silk fabrics without affecting the whiteness or the tensile properties of the cross-linked fabrics. Previous attempts on cross-linking silk with poly(carboxylic acids) have been done in the dry state at high temperatures (150-175 °C) in the presence of the toxic catalyst, sodium hypophosphite, with decrease in the whiteness and tensile properties of the cross-linked fabrics. In this research, citric acid (CA) was used to cross-link silk in the wet state at low temperatures using weak acidic to neutral pH as catalyst. The effect of cross-linking conditions on the wrinkle recovery, whiteness index and yarn tensile and fabric tear strength were studied. The durability of the cross-linking to laundering was also examined. The new method of cross-linking improves the wet wrinkle recovery of the silk fabrics by about 32% compared to the noncross-linked fabric without affecting the whiteness or the tensile properties of the fabrics. The improvement in the functional properties of silk was stable to multiple launderings.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering