Textile Enhancers : how to impart silkiness and softness to your textiles
The textile industry is developing rapidly, introducing state-of-the-art technologies, techniques, and finishing chemicals for improving the fabric quality its softness.
In the past few decades, there’s been a growing use of silicone copolymers in the textile industry, enabling manufacturers to produce textile with enhanced functionality and features that are attractive to the end consumers.
When used as textile enhancers, silicones deliver a wide range of benefits that can help manufacturers produce textiles that fit the end consumer’s needs related to softness, functionality, and durability. Textile manufacturers should look for solutions that bring the expected quality and at the same time are easy to use and compatible with a wide range of textile processes.
In this article you will learn about the textile enhancing features of silicone copolymers and the value they bring to various types of textiles, as well as what features to look for when choosing a solution that will deliver the desired fabric characteristics efficiently.
Comfortable touch : Use of silicone for silky & soft feel in textiles
The textile manufacturers expectations are always evolving, asking for benefits beyond softness. Main required features can include aesthetic qualities, quick water absorption (or water repellence for leathers and similar fabrics), color and/or shade protection, and easy processability for mass textile finishing.
Silicone copolymers can be used as textile enhancers to achieve the desired hand feel in various types of fabrics. When used in fabric blends, these new generation silicone copolymers improve the lubricity and smoothness, allowing for a bouncy and limp hand feel.
The softness feature, apart from cotton blends, is also looked after in textiles such as cotton knits and woven, where silicon copolymers can be used to achieve the slick and full hand feel associated with high-quality garments.
Longer textile durability : Maintaining textile features against washing
Another important quality of fabrics looked after by the consumers is their durability, meaning how long they can maintain their softness after several home laundry cycles.
Apart from their role in the softness features of fabrics, silicone textile enhancers are used to improve the durability of textiles: by forming a flexible coating on textile fibers, prevents them from losing their softness after washing or dry cleaning.
New generation silicon copolymers
A lot of silicone copolymers were developed by the researchers to improve the technical and physical quality of the fabric. The silicone copolymers are classified into various categories according to their properties and applications.
Among the latest high-quality textile enhancers developed (silicone copolymers) is Momentive's Magnasoft™ product portfolio, distributed by Safic-Alcan and widely used in the textile industry.
Magnasoft 238 Textile enhancer
If you want your fabrics and garments to have exceptional softness and sleekness, avoiding the problems of yellowing, shear stability and thermal migration, Magnasoft 238 will help you achieve your goal. This textile enhancer comes in a linear molecular structure with low viscosity and high molecular weight. This product is also water dispersible and can be effective at dosage levels 3 to 4 times lower than amino silicone fluids. Magnasoft 238 perfectly works with synthetics, polyester fleece, and cotton blends.
Some of the important properties of Magnasoft 238 enhancers are :
- Appearance – The solution of the Magnasoft 238 enhancer looks like a pale-yellow liquid.
- Diluent – The prescribed diluent for this enhancer is “soft water”.
- Specific Gravity – The specific gravity of the enhancer is 1.046.
- Amine Content – The enhancer contains 0.12% of amine contents.
- Viscosity – At 25 degree Celsius, the viscosity of the solution is 5000 cSt.
The Magnasoft 238 enhancer is generally used on cotton blends and polyester fleece for good lubricity and smoothness. The amount of enhancer is used in the bath is 3 – 5 g/liter for better product quality. It is prescribed to use soft water for diluting this enhancer.
Magnasoft STE textile enhancer
Magnasoft STE textile enhancer delivers excellent aesthetics, hydrophilicity and processability. It delivers silkiness combined with excellent hydrophilicity and stability in textile finishing. With Magnasoft STE, it's easy to meet this demand, achieve a silky look and breathable touch of the garment. This enhancer consists of 100% active linear silicone copolymer. It possesses high molecular weight and reasonable viscosity. The emulsion developed by this enhancer provides resistance against yellowing, high temperature, and a wide pH range.
Some of the typical properties of Magnasoft STE textile enhancers are :
- Appearance – The solution of this enhancer appears to be a pale yellow fluid.
- Active Contents – The enhancer contains 100% active linear silicone copolymer
- Viscosity and Density – The viscosity and density of this solution at 25 degree Celsius is 7000 cSt and 1.00 g/cm3.
- Flash Point – The flash point of Magnasoft STE enhancer is 66 degree Celsius.
For using Magnasoft STE textile enhancer charge the enhancer, emulsifiers, and butyl carbitol. Mix all of them with the help of a stirrer at the speed of 800 – 1000 rpm for 20 minutes. During the mixing process, charge 50% of the water. Now dilute acetic acid with the remaining 50% of the water and charge it slowly. After this reduce the stirrer speed by 400 – 500 rpm and mix it for 20 minutes. At the end filter it into the container and it can be used on cotton, synthetics, cotton blends, and cellulose.
Magnasoft JSS textile enhancer
The Magnasoft JSS textile enhancer provides high stability under high temperature and alkaline conditions. It gives a soft, plush feel and signature hydrophilic properties to most fabrics. In comparison to typical aminosilicones, this textile enhancer provides exceptional softness and shear resistance with little yellowing. The hydrophilic enhancer is specifically used on cotton, cotton blends, and synthetics.
Some of the typical properties of Magnasoft JSS textile enhancers are :
- Appearance – The appearance of this enhancer is clear to dark yellowish.
- Viscosity and pH – At 25 degree Celsius, the viscosity and pH of the JSS hydrophilic enhancer are 5000 cPs and 9 (pH).
- Amine content – The solution contains 0.57% amine content.
- Solid content – The enhancer contains 83% of solid content.
Put the water in the container along with the surfactant and mix them at the speed of 400 rpm, until the surfactant dissolves into the water. Reduce the speed of the stirrer and add Magnasoft JSS textile enhancer and continue to mix it for a minimum of 5 minutes. Add the biocide if required, otherwise filter it into the container, and use it on your required fabric.
Magnasoft Derma NT textile enhancer
Magnasoft Derma NT textile enhancer properties allow to achieve an exceptional voluminous and silky feel to practically all fabric types. This textile enhancer saves fabrics from looking "tired" even after several wash cycles, which is highly appreciated by consumers who prefer home laundry. It develops high durability in the fabric to at least 10 laundry washes. Magnasoft Derma NT provides resistance against yellowing and high pH.
Some of the specific physical and chemical properties of Magnasoft Derma NT textile enhancer are :
- Appearance – The appearance of the enhancer ranges between colorless to slightly brown fluid.
- Density – The density of the Magnasoft Derma NT textile enhancer is 0.98 g/cm3.
- Viscosity – At 25 degree Celsius, the viscosity of the fluid is 15000 cSt.
Change the Magnasoft Derma NT textile enhancer in conjunction with the ethoxylates and mix them well until a homogenous mixture is formed. Take some water in the container/beaker and dissolve some amount of acetic acid and sodium acetate into it. Add it into the homogenous mixture while mixing and after some time filter it into the container. Now you can apply it to any kind of woven and knit fabric.
Magnasoft SilQ textile enhancer
Magnasoft SilQ’s textile enhancer unique properties allow to deliver a plush touch uncommon to silicone materials. This textile enhancer provides high shear stability and a soft hand feel to the fabric. The enhancer offers low yellowing under the effect of high pH and temperature. The enhancer comes in a linear structure and is non-reactive in nature. The Magnasoft SilQ enhancer possesses a high molecular weight.
Some of the specified properties of Magnasoft SilQ textile enhancer are :
- Appearance – The solution of the Magnasoft SilQ enhancer appears to be light yellow in color.
- Viscosity – The fluid possess the viscosity of 15000 cSt at 25 degree Celsius.
- Density – At 25 degree Celsius, the density of the enhancer is 0.980 g/cm3.
Charge and mix the Magnasoft SilQ enhancer and emulsifiers till fully homogenous. After mixing dissolve the acetic acid and sodium acetate into the water then slowly add this mixture into the enhancer/emulsion blend. Avoid excessive mixing to prevent air addition to the mixture. After this filter it into the container.
These new-generation textile enhancers are 100% active linear silicone copolymer, with high molecular weight and low viscosity.
They exist in different grades for specific goals and are generally used good lubricity and smoothness in cotton and cotton-blended knits and woven fabrics, viscose fabric and blends, linen fabric and blends, quick-drying cotton knits, polyester and polyamide woven fabrics requiring a cotton-like feel.
The main benefit provided is an excellent hydrophilicity and silky hand-feel. Many of the properties engineered into Magnasoft products can also enhance fabric strength and durability. And in addition to deliver this particular set of performance characteristics, they do so at low use rate, achieving greater cost efficiencies.
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