The Art of Finishing: Chemical Finishing

Welcome to Chemical Finishing where you will learn about “Softeners and Builders”, “Functional Chemistry”, and “Application Systems.”

Softeners and Hand Builders

“Finishing” is defined as any chemical process other than preparation or the application of color that imparts useful or desired properties to a textile or apparel product. Although it can be performed on fibers or yarns, finishing usually occurs after the fabric or garment has been prepared and dyed, and is often the last step. Finishing processes can affect many qualities of a fabric or garment, including appearance, performance or serviceability, and hand, through the use of softeners or hand builders.

Functional Chemistry

Various chemistries and application methods can be used to improve the serviceability of fabrics. Chemical systems such as fluorochemicals can be used for water resistance and repellency and for soil and stain resistance and release. Wrinkle resistance is accomplished with resin-based systems. Fire-retardant finishes are very important, and the importance of enzymes for biopolishing has grown in recent years.

Application Systems

Various techniques are used to apply chemistry to fabric. Whatever mechanical application method is used, the chemistry must be applied uniformly. Chemistry application systems involve application of the chemistry, drying, and curing, if required.

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