The enzymatic upgrading of wool fibres (ENZUP), a €1.9 million research project funded by EU, has been announced as a success by the European Commission.
The project combined enzyme treatment with genetic engineering to make woolen apparels more strong during washing.
Scientists involved in the project increased the size of proteolytic enzymes that are normally used in woolen garments to enhance their shrink resistance.
Although they prevent shrinking of woolen garments during wash, the standard enzymes are so small that they penetrate and weaken the wool fibre.
The increased size prevents the enzymes from penetrating the fibre physically, and thus avoiding the damage to the wool fibre.
The ENZUP Project was initiated in 2006 with an aim to produce engineered proteases (a group of enzymes) of various molecular sizes to be used for different finishing processes. The project also aimed to develop new bio-finishes for improving performance of multi-functional wool materials.
The project, which involved participation of scientists from many European nations, was coordinated by Dr. Jinsong Shen of the Textile Engineering and Materials (TEAM) Research Group at De Montfort University in Leicester, UK.
Fibre2fashion News Desk - India