Producing antibacterial wool fabrics

Researchers have proposed a simple surface low temperature grafting for antibacterial and anti-felting wool fabrics.

Antibacterial coatings are used to mitigate infections. They can be either passive or active, depending on whether antibacterial agents are locally delivered. Image source: fusebulb - AdobeStock (symbol image).

It is a trouble to solve the problem of wool fabric shrinkage in daily washing. Coating finishing on wool fiber surface can effectively reduce shrinkage rate. In this study, wool fabrics were pretreated with H2O2 and papain. Then the pretreated wool fabric was coated with chitosan to prepare antibacterial and anti-felting fabric by employing a simple low temperature grafting method.

Outstanding antibacterial property

The coated wool fabric showed expectant hydrophilic property without changing the original whiteness. Dye permeability and contour sharpness of inkjet printing wool fabrics were improved by grafting chitosan compared to pretreated wool fabric. The area shrinkage of wool fabric decreased from 11.5 % to 4.7 %, which was obviously lower than “machine washable” index (8 %). What’s more, the existence of chitosan coating onto wool fibers resulted in outstanding antibacterial property against E. coli.

The study has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 183, October 2023.

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