Importance of Chemical Finishing in Textile

Chemical finishing:
Textile wet processing can be thought of having three stages, pretreatment (or preparation), coloration (dyeing or printing) and finishing. Finishing is the final step in the fabric manufacturing process, the last chance to provide the properties that customers will value. It is also called the beautification process of fabric. Finishing completes the fabric’s performance and gives it special functional properties including the final ‘touch’.

Chemical finishing can be defined as the use of chemicals to achieve a desired fabric property. Chemical finishing, also referred to as ‘wet’ finishing, includes processes that change the chemical composition of the fabrics that they are applied to. In other words, an elemental analysis of a fabric treated with a chemical finish will be different from the same analysis done prior to the finishing.

Chemical finishing or ‘wet finishing’ involves the addition of chemicals to textiles to achieve a desired result. Physical properties such as dimensional stability and chemical properties such as flame retardancy can both be improved with chemical finishing. Normally, the appearance of the textile is unchanged after chemical finishing.

Importance of chemical finishing:
Chemical finishing has always been an important component of textile processing, but in recent years the trend to ‘high tech’ products has increased the interest and use of chemical finishes. As the use of high performance textiles has grown, the need for chemical finishes to provide the fabric properties required in these special applications has grown accordingly.

The amount of textile chemical auxiliaries sold and used globally in one year is estimated to be about one-tenth of the world’s fibre production. With fibre production currently at 60 million tonnes, about 6 million tonnes of chemical auxiliaries are consumed. The percentage of textile auxiliaries used in different process is shown in Fig. About 40 % of textile auxiliaries are used in finishing, the largest percentage usage of all textile chemicals, followed by dyeing and printing auxiliaries and pretreatment chemicals.
Fig. Textile auxiliaries are used in finishing
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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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