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How does sizing and desizing work in textiles?

Sizing and desizing are essential processes in the textile industry that ensure fabric stability and uniformity during weaving and finishing processes. Sizing is the process of applying a thin layer of starch or other sizing agents to yarn or fabric to improve its handling characteristics during weaving, while desizing is the process of removing the sizing material from the fabric after weaving. In this blog, we will cover the entire process of sizing and desizing in textiles.

Sizing Process: The sizing process begins with the preparation of the sizing solution, which is typically a blend of starch, water, and other chemicals such as lubricants, anti-static agents, and softeners. The mixture is heated to a temperature of around 90°C and then applied to the yarn or fabric using a sizing machine. The sizing machine applies the solution evenly to the yarn or fabric, ensuring uniform coverage.

After the sizing solution is applied, the yarn or fabric is dried to remove the moisture and set the sizing agent. The drying process is usually done in a hot air oven or a steam chamber, and the temperature and time of drying are critical to achieve the desired level of stiffness.

The sizing process can also be done using modern techniques such as foam sizing, which involves applying the sizing solution in the form of foam to the yarn or fabric. Foam sizing is a more eco-friendly and cost-effective method than traditional sizing processes.

Desizing Process: After weaving, the fabric needs to be desized to remove the sizing agent, which can cause stiffness, reduce absorbency, and affect dye penetration during finishing processes. The desizing process is done using chemical or enzymatic methods.

Chemical Desizing: Chemical desizing involves using an alkaline solution to break down the starch molecules and dissolve the sizing agent. The fabric is soaked in an alkaline solution of sodium hydroxide or hydrogen peroxide for a specific period, depending on the type of sizing agent used.

The fabric is then washed in water to remove the residual alkaline solution, and the pH of the fabric is neutralized using an acid solution such as acetic acid. The fabric is then rinsed again and dried to remove any remaining moisture.

Enzymatic Desizing: Enzymatic desizing uses natural enzymes such as amylase to break down the starch molecules and remove the sizing agent. The fabric is soaked in an enzymatic solution at a specific temperature and pH, and the enzymes break down the starch molecules, making it easy to remove the sizing agent.

The fabric is then washed in water to remove the enzymatic solution, and the pH of the fabric is neutralized using an acid solution. The fabric is then rinsed again and dried to remove any remaining moisture.

Conclusion: Sizing and desizing are essential processes in the textile industry that ensure fabric stability and uniformity during weaving and finishing processes. The sizing process involves applying a thin layer of sizing agent to the yarn or fabric to improve its handling characteristics during weaving, while desizing involves removing the sizing agent after weaving.

The sizing process can be done using traditional or modern techniques such as foam sizing, while desizing can be done using chemical or enzymatic methods. The choice of sizing and desizing method depends on the type of fabric, sizing agent used, and the desired end-use of the fabric.

In conclusion, sizing and desizing are critical processes that determine the quality and characteristics of the fabric, and textile manufacturers need to ensure that these processes are carried out efficiently to produce high-quality fabrics.


 

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