Water Proofing Finishing of Textile Fabric

“Waterproofing is nothing but preventing the passage of both air and water through a fabric.”

Purpose of Water Proofing:
For certain uses such as Tarpaulin, Umbrella cloth, Rain coat fabrics etc., it is required to give this type of finish as these type of fabrics are generally used against the air and water in the normal life. So they should have some property to prevent both air and water passing through them.

This finish makes the wearer feel uneasy and uncomfortable as the air circulation is not there.
Water proof fabric
Principle of Water Proofing:
A film on the surface of the fabric should be formed for the prevention of air and water.

When a uniform coating of suitable substances such as rubber is produced on the surface of a fabric, the interstices between the warp and weft yarns are blocked by the continuous film or substance and both water and air not pass through the treated fabrics.

It is a chemical and property giving finish.

The fabric should not become unnecessarily stiff and the fabric should have soil release or soil repellent property.

The finish should not alter the fastness properties or dyed material, feel, strength etc., of the fabric.

By two methods it can be carried out:
  1. Methods by which hydrophobic substances are deposited on the cloth.
  2. Methods by which the fabric itself becomes hydrophobic.
Chemicals Used:
  1. Vulcanized natural rubber.
  2. Oxidised oils of varnishes.
  3. Polyvinyl chloro acetate.
  4. Polyvinylidine chloride.
  5. Cellulose acetate.
  6. Cupprammonium hydroxide solution.
A. The simplest method of water proofing is the coating of fabric with rubber as a thin film.

  • Unwanted stiffness and harshness.
  • Fabric becomes harsh and brittle.
B. The application of natural oil will also produce this finish.

  • No cracks or brittleness.
  • It is not permanent.
C. Coating of water impermeable substances like pitch, asphalt and molten waxes produce water proofing.

  • It will give excellent proofing.
  • Many desirable properties of the fabric will be destroyed.
D. Using synthetic resins we can produce this finish.

Example: Polyvinyl chloro acetate, Cellulose acetate, Polyvinylidine chloride.

E. Water proofing with wax emulsion.
  • It can be applied on cotton, linen, wool, silk fabrics.
  • Aluminium acetate is used along with the wax emulsion.
There are two steps involved in producing this finish.

1st step:
Wax emulsion: 1-3 kg
Water : 50 litres
Pad the material with wax emulsion solution.

2nd step:
In wet condition,
Aluminium acetate: 1- 3 kg (12˚ Tw)
Water : 50 litres

Impregnate the fabric and squeeze thoroughly.
Then dry the fabric in a stenter or on a drying range at 110˚ to 120˚C.

Author of This Article:
Government College of Engineering & Textile Technology Serampore, India

Email ID: jasimmandal@gmail.com
Contact: +8820662240
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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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