Cellulase enzymes have now gained industrial acceptance for finishing processes of cotton goods to improve handle and appearance.

Enzymatic treatments are usually performed either before or after dyeing and finishing processes of textiles. It is well known that enzymes are non-toxic, environment friendly biocatalysts. With rapidly advancing biotechnological research and development efforts, now-a-days it is possible to customize and tailor these compounds to suit specific end-uses.

It is evident that cellulase enzymes have gained industrial acceptance for finishing processes of cotton goods to improve handle and appearance1. Cellulase is an enzyme which breaks down cellulosic materials such as cotton and viscose, and is a complex mixture of endocellulases, exocellulases, cellobiohydrases, cellobiases and several others. Each of these will have a specific action on different parts of a cotton fibre. Desizing using amylase enzymes has been well established for many years. However, there is still considerable scope for improving the speed, economics and consistency of the process, including the development of thermally stable enzymes as well as a better understanding of how to characterise their activity and performance with respect to different fabrics, sizes and processing conditions. Scouring and bleaching are attractive targets for enzyme-based processes. Several commercial enzyme products exist in the market for this purpose.

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About the Author

Dr Subrata Das
obtained his PhD in Textile Technology from IIT, Delhi. He has around two decades of working experience in R&D, quality assurance and teaching. He is presently working as Scientist D at Central Silk Technological Research Institute, Bangalore. He has published technical papers in reputed national/international journals.