Jute is biodegradable, ecofriendly and annually renewable in nature. Apart from its traditional use as packaging material, jute fabric are now widely used in technical textiles, furnishing textiles, upholstery and even in apparel textiles. So, wet processing of jute has occupied an important position in jute industry for making diversified and value added jute products more attractive with respect to feel, colour, and aesthetic appeal as per end use requirement. Wet processing of jute fabric involves different processes like pretreatment, scouring, bleaching, dyeing, printing, finishing, etc.

Wet processing of jute requires a lot of energy in the form of steam, electricity and manpower. Due to high operational and energy cost it is imperative to devise a suitable method which will consume less energy. Hence simultaneous operation of several bath processes is becoming more relevant. In view of the growing importance of wet processing in jute industry and the escalation of operational and energy cost, single-bath bleaching-dyeing of jute fabric using different bleaching agent like hydrogen peroxide, sodium chlorite and different dyestuff like direct, basic , 1:2 metal complex dyes are carried out. Satisfactory colour yield and acceptable washing and light fastness were achieved by using hydrogen peroxide- direct dye combinations with the intermediate addition of reducing agent. The intermediate addition of antichlor agent with sodium chlorite bleaching and 1:2 metal complex and basic dye also brought successful results. The study showed that prime requirement in single bath bleaching-dyeing was the appropriate selection of dyes and auxiliaries, which must be compatible with the alkaline/acidic oxidizing condition. The method of dyeing has no effect on value. This confirms no alteration in the hue and tone of any sample dyed with any particular dye by single bath bleaching-dyeing process. This process eliminates the need for a separate bath for dyeing and the intermediate washing step resulting in less operational cost. Also, minimum material handling in this process results in less damage in the fabric and minimizes water pollution.

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This article was originally presented in ATNT 2007 held on 18-20, June 2007 at Kumaraguru College of Technology, Coimbatore, India. The authors are associated with National Institute of Research on Jute and Allied Fibre Technology, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Kolkata, India.