Review: Potential use of plant proteins and feather keratin as sizing agents for polyester-cotton

Narendra Reddy, Yiqi Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This review assesses the potential of using plant proteins (wheat gluten and soy proteins) and chicken feather keratin as sizing agents for polyester/cotton (P/C) fabrics. Sizing (slashing) is a critical and essential process required for weaving fabrics. Poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) is a traditional size for P/C yarns since PVA readily dissolves in water, provides good sizing performance, and is easily desizeable. However, PVA released from textile effluent treatment affects water organisms. Protein-based sizes required higher percent add-on to provide strength similar to PVA, but had excellent desizing, even at room temperature using low liquor ratios. Similarly, protein-based sizes degraded easily in activated sludge with COD and BOD5 values well within the prescribed limits. Plant proteins and feather keratin show promise to replace PVA for sizing P/C fabrics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-27
Number of pages8
JournalAATCC Journal of Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015


  • BOD
  • Biodegradation
  • COD
  • Cotton
  • Feathers
  • Gluten
  • Keratin
  • PVA
  • Polyester
  • Proteins
  • Sizing
  • Soy
  • Wastewater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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