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The effect of pH on wool fiber diameter and fabric dimensions
journal contributionposted on 2009-07-01, 00:00 authored by Qing Li, R Brady, Xungai Wang
Wool fabrics are often treated under conditions of varying pH in dyeing and finishing processes. It is known that in air the dimensions of wool fabrics change with the amount of fiber swelling at different regain. In this work, it has been shown that a similar relationship between fiber swelling and fabric dimensions existed in water at different pH values. The diameters of Merino and Corriedale wool fibers in water at different pH values were measured with an OFDA 2000 fiber diameter analyzer, fitted with a specially constructed accessory liquid cell. The results showed that the mean diameters of swollen wool fibers in water varied with pH. Minimum swelling was obtained in the range pH 5-7. It was found that the dimensions of wool fabric in water were dependent on the pH. The changes in fiber diameter in water could be attributed to changes in ionic interactions between charged acid and basic groups in wool protein with variations in pH.