Enerally speaking, when cotton fabrics are in gray form, they contain natural and added impurities, such as natural oil, waxes, pectin and coloring matter, etc., i.e. impurities, such as stains of machine oil and dust, from the fiber itself, from the processing process, as well as from the environment. The impurities and yellowness of 100 percent grey cotton knitted fabric must be prepared for processing to make it ready for coloring and finishing. Therefore, 100% grey cotton knitted fabric is conventionally subjected to a scouring and bleaching procedure requiring the use of vast quantities of water and chemicals to eliminate impurities and yellowness. The pursuit of a reduction in water and chemicals is a new trend in textile production because of increased environmental awareness. In this research, we are exploring the possibility of using plasma atmospheric pressure as a dry method before processing to treat 100 percent grey cotton knitted fabric (single jersey and interlock). Experimental findings show that plasma treatment with atmospheric pressure can effectively remove impurities from 100 percent gray cotton knitted fabrics and dramatically increase the property of water absorption. On the other hand, the treatment period is decreased if 100 percent grey cotton knitted fabrics are pretreated with plasma and then subjected to a regular scouring procedure. In addition, surface morphological and chemical changes in plasma-treated fabrics have been studied and contrasted with traditional scanning electron microscope (SEM) fabrics, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy-attenuated total reflection (FTIR-ATR) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (X-ray) fabrics (XPS). As seen in the XPS, the decrease in carbon content reveals the elimination of surface impurities. The plasma-treated knitted fabrics’ oxygen-to-carbon (O/C) ratios show enhanced hydrophilicity. Furthermore, after plasma therapy, the yellowness of plasma-treated grey cotton knitted fabrics did not further increase.

Author (s) Details

Chi-Wai Kan
Institute of Textiles and Clothing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China.

Chui-fung Lam
Institute of Textiles and Clothing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China.

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