Enzymes in textile processing

Arja Miettinen-Oinonen, Jaakko Pere, Kristiina Kruus, Johanna Buchert

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientific


    Enzymes are bio-catalysts with several advantages, such as a high specificity of action and ability to work under mild reaction conditions (e.g. pH, temperature, time). The use of enzymes in the processing of textiles is an environmentally friendly method and is widely recognized in several applications. The main commercial applications for enzymes are desizing of fabric with amylases, eliminating hydrogen peroxide after bleaching with catalase, biofinishing of cellulolytic textile materials and denim finishing with cellulases and bleaching of indigo-dyed denim with laccase. Protease enzymes have been used for finishing of wool and silk. Scouring of cotton with enzymes (bioscouring) is a new approach. In bioscouring alkaline pectate lyase is utilized for removal of pectin from the cotton surface. After this partial removal of pectin lipophilic compounds can be removed at high temperatures with emulsifier. Positive results have also been obtained by using enzymes, especially oxidoreductases, in decolorization of dye house effluents. Some reports exist on using certain enzymes, i.e. esterases, oxidases and nitrilases to improve the properties of synthetic fibres, such as polyester, polyamide and polyacrylic. In this paper a summary of the existing enzymatic textile processes is presented. Enzymatic textile processes still in research stages are also reviewed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication30th Aachen Textile Conference
    Subtitle of host publicationAachen, Germany, 16-27 November 2003
    PublisherDeutsches Wollforschungsinstitut
    Publication statusPublished - 2003
    MoE publication typeB3 Non-refereed article in conference proceedings

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