Source: Pakistan Textile Journal


The use of enzymes in the textile chemical processing is rapidly gaining globally recognition because of their non-toxic and eco-friendly characteristics with the increasingly important requirements for textile manufacturers to reduce pollution in textile production. Enzymes sources, activity, specificity, reaction, mechanism and thermodynamics, function of textile processing with enzymes, major enzymatic applications in textile wet processing and promising areas of enzyme applications in textile processing are discussed. The aim is to provide the textile technologist with an understanding of enzymes and their use with textile materials.

Enzymes are proteins

Enzymes are generally globular proteins and like other proteins consist of long linear chains of amino acids that fold to produce a three-dimensional product. Each unique amino acid sequence produces a specific structure, which has unique properties. Individual protein chains may sometimes group together to form a protein complex.


Enzymes are biocatalysts, and by their mere presence, and without being consumed in the process, enzymes can speed up chemical processes that would otherwise run very slowly. After the reaction is complete, the enzyme is released again, ready to start another reaction. Most of the biocatalyst have limited stability and over a period of time they lose their activity and are not stable again. Usually most enzymes are used only once and discarded after their catalytic action.

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The author is Assistant Professor, College of Textile Engineering, SFDAC.

Originally Published in: Pakistan Textile Journal, April 2010

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