Cellulose Wash | Working Procedure of Cellulose Washing

Cellulose Wash:
Cellulose enzymes have gained acceptance in the garment wash industry as a means to achieve a wash down appearance without the use of stones or with reduced quantities of stones. These enzymes are different from the alpha amylase enzymes used for starch removal in that they are selective only to the cellulose and will not degrade starch. Under certain conditions, their ability to react with cellulose (cotton) will result in surface fiber removal (weight loss). This will give the garments a washed appearance and soft hand.

Cellulose washed denim
Fig: Cellulose washed denim
Working Procedure of Cellulose Wash:  
  1. Load stones in machine (normally 0.5 - 2.0 part weight stones: 1 part weight garments) if applicable.  
  2. Load garments.  
  3. Desize with alpha amylase enzyme and detergent.  
  4. Rinse.  
  5. Add cellulose enzyme (amount, pH, temperature, and cycle time dependent upon type of fabric and desired effects; manufacturer's recommendations should be followed).  
  6. Adjust pH as recommended.  
  7. Tumble 30-90 minutes.  
  8. Drain.  
  9. *Rinse well (70◦C).  
  10. Drain.  
  11. Rinse well (70◦C).  
  12. Drain. Separate garments from stones if used (garments can be transferred to another machine). 
  13. Apply softener.  
  14. Extract and unload.  
  15. De-stone and tumble dry.  
  16. Press, if required.
After step 7, a chlorine bleach may be used as described in Stone Wash with Chlorine.

* The increase in temperature serves to deactivate the cellulose. pH adjustment to 9.0-10.0 with soda ash can also be incorporated. Some operations use both the increases in pH and temperature.

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Mazharul Islam Kiron is a textile consultant and researcher on online business promotion. He is working with one European textile machinery company as a country agent. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.

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