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Hohenstein develops antimicrobial treatment for wool
24
Nov '14
courtesy: Hohenstein Institute
courtesy: Hohenstein Institute
Scientists at the Hohenstein Institute and the Leibnitz Institute for Interactive Materials (DWI), both from Germany, have developed an antimicrobial treatment for wool and other textiles containing wool.

Many of the antimicrobial treatment substances available on the market today are very effective on cotton, polyester, polyamide and those kinds of mixtures of fibres.

By contrast, antimicrobial substances are often not effective at all, or only to a very limited extent, on wool and mixed fibres containing wool.

And yet an antimicrobial protective treatment would be particularly desirable, because textiles containing wool are generally washed less frequently than textiles made from other fibres.

Especially in the outdoor and sports sectors, wool is currently experiencing a real renaissance, which the Hohenstein Institute, sees as an attractive area of application for this innovative textile finish.

“By combining the use of different antimicrobial substances and technologies, we have achieved a really wide range of effectiveness, which will be especially of interest to manufacturers of high-quality functional textiles containing wool,” Mihaela Szegedi from the Hohenstein Institute says.

“However, we also see great potential for classic business suits or ladies' suits made of wool or blended fabrics containing wool, as well as domestic and furnishing textiles," Szegedi adds by saying.

The two research institutions pursued two different parallel approaches. At Hohenstein, researchers concentrated on producing a colloidal dispersion of mixed substances in an aqueous dispersion medium.

The DWI developed a hydrogel coating made of polyamines and silver colloids and studied the effectiveness of the silver-release layers that were produced in situ in the treatment of pure woollen fabric and in fibre mixes.

In the research project, a treatment based on colloidal complexes was developed for the first time specifically for wool and WO and PET fibre blends.

Combining the use of the aqueous SA/TSA complex and colloidal silver in an exhaust process, or of commercial zinc-based colloids in a Foulard process, leads to a wide range of effectiveness and excellent hygiene protection for products containing wool.

“This means that products based on animal protein fibres can be protected against the destructive effect of fungi, algae and bacteria and woollen textiles that are frequently exposed to moisture can also be protected from material damage,” Hohenstein explains.

This kind of synergistic treatment for textiles with a high woollen fibre content can be of great benefit to textile manufacturers, insulation producers, hosiery manufacturers and other fabric producers.

Companies in the technical textile sector, whose product range includes woollen fibre blends seats, will also, be able to benefit from the advantages of antimicrobial protection. (AR)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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