Crease recovery is the property of a fabric that enables it to recover from folding deformations. It is one of the most important properties expected out of any apparel textile to make it easy to care for, say R. N. Narkhedkar and Raju K. Kupelur.


Cotton is an important fibre in textiles, because of its numerous advantages. It is also one of the most comfortable fibres, so it is most commonly used for shirting fabric.


Creasing, especially after washing, is a major problem in cotton fabric because of the free hydroxyl groups in its structure. When cotton fabrics crease, molecular chains in the amorphous region slip past each other, breaking the weak hydrogen bonds because of stretched chains. They then form new hydrogen bonds in the stretched places and the fabric holds the creases. This affects the appearance of the fabric. So, cotton fabric is treated with chemicals to improve its crease recovery property.


Effect of softening agent

Softening agents give a smooth and attractive look to garments and are among the most important textile chemicals. They can make textiles supple, pliant, sleek and fluffy, smooth, more flexible and easier to drape.


Types of softeners

*        Anionic softeners (sulphated oils, sulphated alcohols, soaps, oil emulsions)

*        Non-ionic softeners (polyethylene emulsion, silicone emulsion, polyoxyethylene derivatives)

*        Cationic softeners (quaternary ammonium and other cationic products)


Effect of anionic softener on crease recovery angle of cotton

In thick cotton fabric, crease recovery increased considerably on application of 2 per cent concentration of anionic softener. But on increasing the concentration of softener to 4 per cent and 6 per cent, crease recovery decreased.


In medium cotton fabric, crease recovery angle decreased on application of 2 per cent concentration but increased when 4 per cent concentration was applied. Treated to 6 per cent concentration, it decreased.


In case of fine cotton fabric, crease recovery angle continuously decreased on increasing concentration of anionic softener.


Effect of cationic softener on crease recovery angle of cotton fabric

Crease recovery of thick cotton fabric increased after application of cationic softener at 2 per cent concentration and on increasing concentration to 4 per cent, crease recovery decreased. Crease recovery again decreased on increasing concentration up to 6 per cent.


In case of medium weight cotton fabric, crease recovery was similar to application of anionic softener on fine cotton fabric. That shows the crease recovery angle continuously decreases on increasing concentration of cationic softener. In case of cationic softener on fine cotton fabric, crease recovery continuously decreased on increasing the concentration up to 4 per cent. On further increasing to 6 per cent, there was slight increase in crease recovery angle.