Options for Enhancing Functional Properties of Knitted Cotton Fabrics

Research Article

Adv Res Text Eng. 2016; 1(1): 1007.

Options for Enhancing Functional Properties of Knitted Cotton Fabrics

Ibrahim NA¹*, Ibrahim DF², Elzairy WM², Eid BM¹ and Tawfik TM³

¹Textile Research Division, National Research Centre, Egypt

²Printing, Dyeing and Finishing Department, Helwan University, Egypt

³Printing, Dyeing and Finishing Department, Benha University, Egypt

*Corresponding author: Nabil A. Ibrahim, Textile Research Division, National Research Centre, Egypt

Received: October 03, 2016; Accepted: December 04, 2016; Published: December 07, 2016


In this study, single jersey knitted cotton fabrics were treated with different finishing formulations to impart new and durable functional properties as well as to extend their potential applications. Anti-bacterial agent based on organosilane-quaternary ammonium compound or AgCl/TiO2, UV-protecting agent based on an oxanilide, water/oil repellent agent based on polymeric hyperbranched hydrocarbon dendrimers, as well as hand modifying agent based on acid cellulose or amino-siloxane micro-emulsion, have been individually applied on the cotton knits using proper treatment methods. Individual utilization of the nominated bio-active agents exhibits high antibacterial activity against the G +ve (S. aureus) and G –ve (E. coli) pathogenic bacteria. The UV-protection factor of the treated fabrics has been enhanced remarkably to attain the maximum grade >50+. Water and oil repellency of the finished samples has been improved significantly to attain 80/5 rate. Anti-pilling and softness properties are improved by using the acid-cellulases or the silicon softener.

Keywords: Cotton knits; Durable functional finishes; Anti-bacterial; UVprotection; Water/oil repellent; Soft-handle


Cotton cellulose is the most abundantly used textile fibers in apparel industry due to its biodegradability, comfortability, hydrophilicity, softness and remarkable coloration. Cotton cellulose has three hydroxyl groups per repeating anhydroglucose unit, one C-6 primary and two C-2 and C-3 secondary, which are responsible for the chemical reactivity, i.e. in chemical modification, coloration and chemical finishing [1,2]. The extent of modification, coloration and∕or functionalization of cotton cellulose structure depends on the relative amount of the amorphous/crystalline phases. On the other hand, the quality of knitted fabric is governed by the kinds of chosen knitting yarn, knitting technology as well as finishing treatments.

Recently, several studies have been carried out to improve the existing properties and/or to impart and create additional and innovative functional properties such as antibacterial, UV- protection, self cleaning, anti-pilling and ∕or softness to the cotton- based textiles [3-11] to cope with the ever-growing of consumer demands for hygienic, protective and active wear clothing as well as to increase the value addition and potential applications.

Therefore, the major objective of this research work is to assess and investigate the influence of certain finishing treatments such as antibacterial, UV-protection, water & oil repellent, bio-and soft - finishes on some performance and functional properties of 100% cotton single Jersey knitted fabrics taking in consideration both the consumer and industrial demands.



Mill - scoured and bleached weft knitted fabrics Single Jersey I (yarn count: 24/1 Ne, weight: 180 g/m²), Single Jersey II (yarn count: 30/1 Ne, weight: 140 g/m²) and Single Jersey III (yarn count: 30/1 Ne, weight: 120 g/m²) were used in this study.


Precosoft® SM40 (nonionic softener based on amino polysiloxane micro emulsion, Schill - Seilacher, Germany) and Iogen® DR-802 (liquid acid cellulase enzyme, Iogen® Bio-products, Canada) were used.

Rucofin® DRY DHY (cationic water repellent agent, based on polymeric hyperbranched dendrimers in a hydrocarbon matrix including F6- fluoro chemical product, Rudolf Chemie, Germany), UV-Sun® CE liq (UV-absorber based on oxalaniline, anionic, Huntsman, Germany), Polyprotec® BBC (permanent antimicrobial agent, cationic, based on organosilane-coupled quaternary ammonium, Polysistec, Barcelona) and Sanitized®T27-22 Silver (weakly anionic antibacterial agent based on silver chloride/titanium dioxide combination, Clariant, Switzerland) were used in functional finishing treatments.

Fixapret®ECO (low formaldehyde reactant resin, based on modified dimethyloldihydroxyethylene urea, BASF, Germany) was of commercial grade.

Citric Acid (CA), Magnesium Chloride Hexahydxate (MgCl2.6H2O), Na-Hypophosphite (SHP, NaH2PO2.H2O), acetic acid, Na-carbonate and Glauber salt were of laboratory grade chemicals.

Treatment methods

Table 1 illustrates the actual experimental formulations and conditions of the post-finishing treatments.