Effect of finishing resins on mechanical and surface properties of cotton denim fabrics, / Nasr Litim 2017
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The Journal of The Textile Institute
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Effect of finishing resins on mechanical and
surface properties of cotton Denim fabrics
Nasr Litim, Ayda Baffoun, Foued Khoffi, Mohamed Hamdaoui, Saber Ben
Abdessalem & Bernard Durand
To cite this article: Nasr Litim, Ayda Baffoun, Foued Khoffi, Mohamed Hamdaoui, Saber
Ben Abdessalem & Bernard Durand (2017): Effect of finishing resins on mechanical and
surface properties of cotton Denim fabrics, The Journal of The Textile Institute, DOI:
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00405000.2017.1297015
Published online: 05 Mar 2017.
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2 N. LITIM ET AL.
of the fabric to resist and recover this deformation after releasing
this load to the initial wrinkle-free surface is expressed as the
crease recovery property. The initial state of the fabric capabil-
ity to recover is measured by the angle between the pre-folded
halves, and it is designed as the crease recovery angle. The crease
recovery properties were determined for dried finished fabric
according to the standard norm ISO 2313 NFG 07–110 using a
crease recovery tester model M003A SDL Atlas. The used load
was 0.5 kg for 5 min, at temperature room. The samples for crease
recovery measurements were typically cut according to a special
standard rectangular shape. The recorded value of crease recov-
ery angle is the average of five measurements. The mechanical
properties, including breaking strength and elongation to break
of treated samples are evaluated in warp direction with the MTS
Criterion™ Universal Testing Systems after conditioning dur-
ing 24 h in the relaxed state (22 °C, 60% HR) according to the
norm ISO 13,934–1, NFGS 07–129-1. Thereafter, we calculated
for every tested sample the Strain Recovery Strength SRS (%)
according to the following formula:
Two types of resins used frequently in industry are the subject of
this study: a glyoxal and acrylic resins. More details about them
are briefly presented in Table 1.Heterocyclic crosslinking agents
are based on urea, formaldehyde, and various other substances,
such as di-amines. Glyoxal crosslinking agents that are formal-
dehyde-free and only the products made from dimethylurea
and Glyoxal have gained a big share of the market, (Vigo, 1994,
p. 229). Acrylic resin, which is a special crosslinkers agents, has
a particular value in finishing cotton. It bonds well to textile
fibers forming films on surface. It is more used for cotton fabric
or mixed cotton/polyester finishing.
To study the influence of the finishing resin in terms of type
and concentration and curing temperature, three different
fabrics F1, F2, and F3 having the same weight per unit area 390
) woven on the same machine were used. They have
Strain recovery strength SRS (%)
Breaking strength After treatement
Breaking strength Before treatement
study provides important idea about the relationship between the
characteristic of denim fabric and processing conditions.
Materials and methods
The aim of this paper is to investigate the influence of resin char-
acteristic and finishing conditions on mechanical and surface
properties of cotton Denim fabrics. For this purpose, surface
morphology of untreated and resin-finished cotton fabrics was
examined by SEM, before and after washing. The micrographs
were taken with a SEM Hitachi SU 3500. A sputter coater was
used to pre-coat conductive gold onto the surface before observ-
ing the microstructure at 22 Kv.
The surface properties, especially the roughness geometrical
SMD, was determinated by one of the testers of KES-FB series
Kawabata’s Evaluation System. This characteristic is closely
related to the hand feeling of fabrics. The detection of the surface
roughness is very sensitive, and the precision is about 0.5 μm.
The thickness of the treated fabric was evaluated with the special
device Kroeplin 67 (for a precision of 0.5 μm).Ten measures were
taken for every sample.
In principle, when a rectangular piece of fabric was folded
under the pressure of a certain load for a certain time, the ability
Table 1. Finishing resin properties [to be inserted in the paragraph named Methods].
Product Commercial name pH (20 °C) Density (20 °C) Aspect Composition & description
Glyoxal resin Resinol AM 3.5–5 1.2 Transparent liquid Modified DMDHEU: (diethylene glycol 15 – 22% and Formaldehyde
<0.1%, and Methanol <0.5%) crosslinks at 140 °C
Acrylic resin Resacryl M 5.5–7.5 1.05 Milky liquid Co-polymer self crosslinked, crosslinks at 100 °C
Table 2. Fabric’s specifications [to be inserted in the paragraph named Methods].
Fabric Count Warp
sition Count Weft
strength (N) CV (%)
gation (%) CV (%)
F1 12.5 100% Cotton 20 100% Cotton 26/20 1332.876 4 21.808 4.5
F2 12.5 100% Cotton 20 24% PES
26/17 1427.474 5 19.192 5
F3 14 100% Cotton 24 95% Cotton +5%
25/19 1574.920 4.6 28.722 4.2
Table 3. Conditions of finishing process [to be inserted in the paragraph named
Pick up (%)
S1 Resinol AM 110 60 63
S2 Resinol AM 110 120 65
S3 Resinol AM 110 150 69
S4 Resacryl M 110 60 74
S5 Resacryl M 110 120 102
S6 Resacryl M 110 150 110
S7 Resinol AM 140 60 86
S8 Resinol AM 140 120 88
S9 Resinol AM 140 150 90
S10 Resacryl M 140 60 87
S11 Resacryl M 140 120 90
S12 Resacryl M 140 150 92
THE JOURNAL OF THE TEXTILE INSTITUTE 3
different specifications such as: yarn count, weft composition,
breaking strength and elongation; which are summarized in
In the experimental application, Resinol AM and Resacryl M
resin have undergone the same method of application, namely by
impregnation. The resins are dissolved into cold water at various
concentrations as described in Table 3 and this at room temper-
ature. A catalyst named MG (Magnesium chloride MgCl2
added to 20% by weight to the Resinol AM solution. The bath
pH varied between 4 and 5. A catalyst named PAZ was added to
20% by weight to the Resacryl M finishing solution. The bath pH
varied between 5.5 and 7. Fabric to liquor ratio used was 1:20.
The fabrics to be treated were allowed to remain in solution for
10 min at 24 °C. The treated samples were automatically wrung
for 15 s and dried at 90o
C for 10 min. After that, they are cured
at 110 °C or 140 °C during the same curing time 15 min. After
resin treatment, the fabrics samples were desized with amylase
‘Ecoprep’ 2 g l−1
and softened with ‘CHTTACC’ 1 g l−1
for 10 min
at 50 °C, washed with enzyme ‘Novasi ultra MC/M’ 2 g l−1
20 min at 50 °C. Fabric to liquor ratio used was 1:20. Finally, they
are dried for 20 min at 90 °C and conditioned.
Results and discussion
Effect of resin’s characteristic and finishing conditions on
surface morphology of F1 (SEM)
SEM micrographs show the morphological surface of treated
cotton fabrics F1, before washing. SEM images noted (b, c, d,
and k) show fabric treated with the same concentration of resin
150 g l−1
and SEM images noted (e, f, g, and h) are treated with a
Figure 1. Surface Morphology. (a) Morphology of untreated fabric F1. (b, e) Morphology of F1 treated with Resinol AM and cured at140 °C. (c, f) Morphology of F1 treated
with Resacryl M and cured at 110 °C. (d, g) Morphology of F1 treated with Resacryl M and cured at 140 °C. (h, k) Morphology of F1 treated with Resinol AM and cured at
110 °C. All samples have 1500 times magnification.
4 N. LITIM ET AL.
the more even the fabric surface is. Evidently, more SMD values
are high; the touch of the fabric is rougher. The SMD value of
the untreated fabric F1 was 2.086 μm.
Figures 2 and 3 show that for Resinol AM resin and at differ-
ent curing temperature, before washing and after washing, SMD
values decrease when the resin concentration increases. While,
for Resacryl M, before washing, at low curing temperature 110°
C,SMD values are stable and near the value of untreated fabric
F1 and decreases when the resin concentration increases. On the
other hand, for a curing temperature of 140 ° C, we can observe
that SMD values decrease when the resin concentration increases
before washing. But, after washing, SMD value increases slightly
when the resin concentration increases. The increase in the SMD
corresponds to a decline of the fabric surface evenness and this
could be explained by the presence of the resin on the treated
fabric surface, leading to a rougher surface.
After washing, the SMD values increased slightly even after
the action of softening auxiliaries which normally promotes a
best handless. This can be explained by the roughness fabric
effect, which may be increased due to a high curing temperature
of 140 ° C as the final roughness is a sum of roughness due to the
resin and the roughness due to the fabric itself.
Effect of resin’s characteristic on the fabric thickness
Table 4 presents the variation of the thickness of treated fabrics
before and after washing.
The obtained results are in agreements with previous stud-
ies (Schindler & Hauser, 2004). In fact, the fabric thickness
increases when the concentration of finishing agent increases.
Referring to Table 4, it is clear that for all the fabrics, the thickness
decreases significantly after washing. For the fabric F1 treated
with Resinol AM the thickness is more important (16%) before
washing that after washing, whatever the finishing condition. It
can be explained by the creation of resin crosslinking network
with cellulose before being altered by the action of water after
washing. For the action of Resacryl M on the thickness of fabric,
before washing is slightly greater than that after washing.
Effect of resin’s characteristic on DCRA fabrics
The Figures 4 and 5 show, respectively, the effect of resin on
DCRA of F1 (warp / weft). It is clear that at the two stages of
finishing processes: before and after washing, the Dry Crease
recovery angle values enhance after resin treatment (compared
to untreated fabrics).Moreover, the increase in the resin concen-
tration induces a proportional raise of the DCRA values. (Wang,
Chen, Yao, & Chen, 2006) confirmed this evaluation.
The effect of Resinol AM is more important than Resacryl M
ones on the DCRA before and after washing, especially if the sam-
ple was subjected to a higher curing temperature 140 °C. Despite
resin type, DCRA values BW are higher than those obtained AW.
It can be explained by the effect of washing additives that reduces
the ability of fabric to wrinkle, because of the elimination of the
rest of non-fixing resin on the surface of cellulosic fibers. In addi-
tion, it is possible that water leads to the relaxation of the strength
of the fiber and inter- and intra-fiber that it helps to reduce the
ability to crumpling .Resinol AM has a more significant effect on
DCRA compared to resin Resacryl M (Figures 4 and 5). DCRA
concentration of resin of 60 g l−1
. It is clear that the diameter of
the fiber forming the fabric structure became larger after treat-
ment. The resin fills the inter fiber space and acts as a cement
improving adhesion between fibers. It is well known that the
hydroxyl groups of the modified resin DMDHEU (Resinol AM)
react with the hydroxyl groups of two cellulose chains. (Cooke
& Weigmann, 1982); Petersen, 1987).
At a curing temperature of 140 °C, it can be observed that the
space inter-fiber is compacted by the insertion of Resinol AM,
compared with one cured at a lower temperature 110 °C with the
same high concentration of resin 150 g l−1
. The analysis of sur-
face (b), show that the resin Resinol AM affects the fibers by the
creation of the cracks on the surface that can be at the origin of
breaking strength change. Whereas, the resin Resacryl M covers
the totality of the fibers and the space inter- fiber (Figure 1(c)
and (d)), that can be at the origin of changes on the mechanical
property which will be discussed later. Acrylic resin seems to be
a coating film on the surface of the fibers and between the fibers.
(Cheriaa & Baffoun, 2015)
Effect of resin’s characteristic and curing temperature on
SMD measures the geometrical roughness of a fabric surface that
is the fabric surface evenness characteristics. The lower the value,
S1 S2 S3 S7 S8 S9
SMD (BW) SMD (AW)
Figure 2. Effect of Resinol AM concentration and curing temperature on fabric
S4 S5 S6 S10 S11 S12
SMD (BW) SMD (AW)
Figure 3. Effect of Resacryl M concentration and curing temperature on fabric
THE JOURNAL OF THE TEXTILE INSTITUTE 5
fabric F1 are significant. It is apparent that the breaking strength
decreases with Resinol AM resin and affect the mechanical prop-
erties of the fabric. Moreover, when the concentration of Resinol
AM resins increased, the breaking strength decreases until 40%.
Furthermore, for the same concentration, when the curing tem-
perature increases, a strong decrease on mechanical properties
of the treated fabrics is observed.
The Resinol AM resin, provokes a decrease in the mechani-
cal properties of the treated fabric F1 before and after washing.
Whereas, the decrease of breaking strength is more important
after washing for high curing temperature as 140 °C. Resacryl M
resin induces a slight increase in the mechanical properties of
fabric F1, mainly after washing. These results can be explained
by the fact that resin forms a film that covers cotton fiber sur-
face. The fabric which is treated with this resin became more
resistant as the inter and intra fiber voids spaces are occupied
by the resin. It is clear that the breaking strength is weaker after
washing than before washing. In fact, during the washing, treated
fabrics undergone several constraints that can decline the inter-
nal strengths of cellulosic fibers. Therefore, the quantity of resin
after washing in the surface of fiber decreases which can induce
a more swollen and less resistant structure. Other researchers,
also, state acrylic resin treatments improved tensile and reduced
fabric extensibility after washing (Sun & Stylios, 2012). In cel-
lulosic and cellulosic blend fabrics finishing, crosslinking agent
like modified DMDHEU (Resinol AM) penetrates into the fibers
and reacts readily with the hydroxyl groups of adjacent cellu-
lose chain. This resin can create links with free hydroxyl groups.
Consequently, this reduces the shrinkage and swelling and thus,
improves the crease resistance properties of fabrics. On the other
hand, this finishing imparts a negative effect on the mechanical
properties of the finished fabric, such as tensile strength con-
firmed by Ibrahim et al. Ibrahim, Abo-Shosha, Elnagdy, & Gaffar,
(2002), Tomsic, Simoncic, Orel, Vilcnik, and Spreizer (2007);
Naujokaityte and Strazdiene (2007).
In the case of Resinol AM resin, according to its technical data
sheet and referring to thermal characterization tests, its optimum
crosslinking temperature is around 140 °C. Thus, at 110 ° C and
for a period of 15 min, we can consider that this duration is
insufficient for the crosslinking with the cellulosic chains to be
complete at this temperature and that Self-crosslinking is rather
favored. After washing and despite the enzymatic attack of the
cellulose chains and which is supposed to reduce the mechanical
properties, the latter improve slightly. It is believed that dur-
ing the washing process and in view of the swelling state of the
material in the presence of water, wetting agent and under the
effect of the temperature (60 °C for 30 min) the self-crosslinked
resin is removed from the support thus reducing the stiffness of
the support and thus improving its breaking strength which is
less than that of the untreated support because there has been
crosslinking. So, the effect of this phenomenon is greater than
the inverse effect of the enzymatic treatment
For a curing temperature of 140 °C, the polymerization
rate of the Resinol AM is more important and consequently
the crosslinking reaction would be more important which will
induce, systematically a decrease of the breaking strength. After
Washing, the resin well fixed by the chemical bridges cannot be
eliminated. Breaking strength decrease is only due to the enzyme
effect. (Khedher, Dhouib, Msahli, & Sakli, 2009) was found that
can reaches higher values (180 °C), when applying significant
concentrations 150 g l−1
and, especially with a curing temperature
of 140 °C. In fact, the large size of Glyoxal resin molecule plays
an important role after having crosslinked with cellulose chains
of cotton; this promotes the ability of finished fabric to wrinkle
at the two phases: AW and BW, Glyoxal molecules intervene to
block the vacant sites in place of water acting as a lubricant for
cellulose. Consequently, Resinol AM reduces the force at break
(explained in the next paragraph), and affects the fabric surface
condition that becomes rougher compared with untreated fabric
(seen in paragraph surface morphology).
Effect of resin’s characteristic on the mechanical behaviors
of fabric F1
The Figures 6 and 7, show that the effects of Resinol AM and
Resacryl M on the mechanical properties of the treated denim
Table 4. Thickness of treated fabrics [to be inserted in the paragraph named Results
and Discussion; Effect of resin’s characteristic on the fabric thickness].
Sample N° Resin
F1 F2 F3
0.690 0.580 0.813
BW AW BW AW BW AW
0.763 0.745 0.621 0.616 0.855 0.843
0.848 0.755 0.624 0.618 0.910 0.825
0.804 0.766 0.647 0.627 0.857 0.851
0.813 0.712 0.621 0.618 0.855 0.802
0.866 0.734 0.631 0.622 0.853 0.844
0.893 0.735 0.635 0.626 0.876 0.856
0.854 0.762 0.640 0.632 0.882 0.829
0.818 0.789 0.654 0.643 0.869 0.855
0.788 0.781 0.666 0.652 0.889 0.860
0.749 0.731 0.687 0.677 0.839 0.822
0.796 0.788 0.714 0.701 0.858 0.826
0.800 0.791 0.725 0.712 0.849 0.839
Figure 4. Effect of Resinol AM concentration and curing temperature on DCRA of
6 N. LITIM ET AL.
(2007) cited that the major disadvantage associated with the use
of cellulase is the loss of mass and a reduction in the fabric tensile
strength. The only way to reduce the strength loss is to choose a
less aggressive cellulase mixture or monocomponent solution.
It was established that the reduction in breaking strength was
smaller for cotton fabrics treated with endoglucanases than with
In the case of the acrylic resin Resacryl M, and regardless of
the polymerization temperature, the breaking strength decreases
after washing. Indeed, this resin crosslinks at around 100 ° C.
Therefore at the two studied temperatures, the crosslinking with
cellulose is favored over to the self-crosslinking. Thus, only the
enzymatic attack occurs during washing.
The effect of finishing Resinol AM resin at various condi-
tions, on the breaking elongation properties are demonstrated
in Figure 8. We distinguished that before washing, the elonga-
tion to the rupture of treated samples decreases compared to
the values of the standard fabrics; In fact, there is creation of a
network between Resinol AM resin and cellulosic chains. This
crosslinking is responsible for the decrease of breaking elon-
gation after finishing treatment and BW. While after washing,
more decrease in breaking elongation particularly at a curing
temperature of 140 °C compared to 110 °C, is observed. In
addition, the concentration of resin has an important effect
on breaking elongation properties, more than that, more the
concentration of resin increases, the extensibility of fabrics
decreases. This variation is joined to the breaking strength that
decreases following the interaction of crosslinking agent and
cellulose in the amorphous zone. This zone becomes more frag-
ile to the mechanical solicitation. DMDHEU is a crosslinking
agent. When the cellulose is crosslinked, it becomes inherently
less able to spread the stresses and strains imposed on the fiber
during the mechanical deformation, (Vigo, 1994, p. 229). In
addition, the introduction of crosslinks confers dimensional
stability of the fibrous material and makes it resistant to creas-
ing, which limits the movement between the fibers and yarns.
All these phenomena contribute to the decrease of strength
and tensile extensibility, (Chaudhari, 1997). Tensile strength
loss of cotton fabric treated with DMDHEU is due to both
the crosslinking of cellulose and the degradation of cellulose
caused by the catalyst. The selection of the catalyst system and
its concentration is crucial for optimizing the tensile strength
retention of the finished fabrics, (Jang, Sheu, Sheu, & Chen,
1993) and (Chaudhari, 1997). In our study, the catalyst pro-
portion is 20% of resin weight, which is chosen according to
the supplier datasheet.
The Figure 9 shows the effect of finishing Resacryl M resin
at various conditions on breaking elongation. The value of this
parameter remains unaltered and for some concentration of
resin it increases in relation to the value of standard fabrics. It
can be suggested that, Resacryl M preserves the extensibility
of fabrics that has undergone the stress in finishing process.
The effect of Resacryl M on the elongation at break can be
explained by the reaction between the resin and the fiber sur-
face and the space inter fibers already filled by resin and which
improves the strength and the elongation at break as seen in
the SEM images.
washing processes reduce the mechanical properties, especially
of the warp yarns of the fabrics. Also, Cavaco-Paulo, Cortez, and
Almeida (1997) and Arumugam, Verenich, Shim, and Poreyhimi
Figure 5. Effect of Resacryl M concentration and curing temperature temperature
on DCRA of Fabric F1.
S1 S2 S3 S7 S8 S9
Figure 6. Effect of Resinol AM concentration and curing temperature on breaking
S3 S4 S5 S10 S11 S12
Figure 7. Effect of Resacryl M concentration and curing temperature on breaking
THE JOURNAL OF THE TEXTILE INSTITUTE 7
Relationship between finishing conditions and fabrics
In this part, we will attempt to deduce a correlation between
finishing conditions, type of resin and fabric compositions. SRS
(%) variation of three treated fabrics according to finishing con-
ditions is presented in Table 5.
In order to verify the effect of resin types and finishing con-
ditions on mechanical properties of various denim fabrics, the
SRS value is established. Table 5 shows SRS of the fabric F1. It
has a more important decline with Resinol AM of 15% while
passing from the value of 60 to 150 g l−1
, before washing for a
curing temperature of 110 °C, on the other hand, a decrease of
20% in the same conditions with a curing temperature of 140 °C
after washing. The effect of Resacryl improves a little increase
between 5% and 10% for the two values of curing temperature
before washing. After washing, one will have a light decline of
10% at curing temperature of 140 °C that can be explained by the
resin removal on the surface of treated fabric. Whereas, for the
Resacryl M a light increase of 10% and 15% of SRS, respectively
before and after washing, it can be explained by the interaction
between Resacryl M and surface cotton yarn, reinforcing the
structure and general seals of fabric, this can be due to an increase
in the resin fiber adhesion regardless of finishing condition.
From Table 5, it can be noted that the variation of SRS for the
three fabrics having different composition in the weft yarn and
the same composition in the warp yarn is similar after treatment
with Resinol AM or Resacryl M although the strength loss trans-
lated by SRS ≤ 85% at high curing temperature and specially, in
the case of glyoxalic resin. So, it can be claimed that the resin
effect on the weft yarn is insignificant in our study. And as cellu-
lose is the main element that makes contact with the crosslinking
agent, this may explain the resin effect, especially on the warp
yarn in the Denim structure. We could say that all three fabrics
behave in the same way overlooked the action of finishing agent
for the same finishing condition.
To summarize, before washing, Resinol AM improves crease
recovery for all cotton fabrics, thickness, and slightly geometri-
cal roughness SMD for the low curing temperature with a higher
concentration. While, consequently, Resinol AM affects the
mechanical properties (strength, elongation) of fabrics, especially
at higher concentration and curing temperature. After washing,
crease recovery is improved, while breaking strength loss more
than 40% compared to untreated fabric. This decline is confirmed
by Surface morphology images of fabric F1 which show cracks
on the surface of treated fibers. However, before washing, the
Resacryl M improves slightly the crease recovery and preserves
the mechanical properties at defined finishing conditions. The
treated fabrics become more reinforced under the effect of
Resacryl M. Besides, the geometrical roughness is improved at
a higher curing temperature. After washing, Resacryl M resin
improves SMD for a lower curing temperature and a lower
resin concentration. Finishing conditions are independent of
S1 S2 S3 S7 S8 S9
Figure 8. Effect of Resinol AM concentration and curing temperature on breaking
S3 S4 S5 S10 S11 S12
Figure 9. Effect of Resacryl M concentration and curing temperature on breaking
Table 5. Relationship between finishing conditions and fabric composition [to be
inserted in the paragraph named Results and Discussion; Relationship between
finishing conditions and fabrics composition].
SRS (%) of Fabric
Resacryl M Resinol AM
F1 F2 F3 F1 F2 F3
BW 110 110.92 108.48 98.43 90.40 89.84 89.70
BW 110 115.58 115.06 101.52 83.97 88.71 87.33
BW 110 116.80 116.09 105.39 82.85 74.41 75.48
BW 140 99.48 107.58 99.22 91.80 82.85 86.28
BW 140 106.25 111.91 101.09 71.35 70.87 71.04
BW 140 110.22 113.57 102.68 61.24 59.22 48.97
AW 110 75.65 92.70 83.14 94.28 87.07 83.82
AW 110 103.03 102.68 88.39 91.51 85.41 76.83
AW 110 102.45 104.16 93.56 88.89 71.41 75.37
AW 140 93.42 108.66 92.26 88.11 77.31 76.11
AW 140 100.81 109.77 92.54 68.10 66.01 63.14
AW 140 104.25 111.35 93.02 58.40 49.87 48.56
8 N. LITIM ET AL.
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the composition of our fabrics regardless of the resins type used
Resinol AM or Resacryl M. The results of this report can be a
workable data to predict the properties of the treated fabrics
after resin finishing.
No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.
This work was supported by the nasr litim.
Nasr Litim http://orcid.org/0000-0002-7767-3137
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