Functional Finishes for Wool-Eco Considerations


Article Preview

Although wool is a natural renewable fibre with a relatively low environmental impact for its production, a number of functional finishes are commonly applied to improve wool’s performance in knitted or woven garments or carpet. These finishes include those to improve fabric shrink-, flame- and insect -resistance, photo-stability and a number of treatments to improve wool carpet performance. The paper describes currently used treatments, their environmental problems and considers new, more environmentally -friendly alternatives under development.



Edited by:

Jianzhong Shao and Qinguo Fan




P.E. Ingham et al., "Functional Finishes for Wool-Eco Considerations", Advanced Materials Research, Vol. 441, pp. 33-43, 2012

Online since:

January 2012




[1] S.J. McNeil, M.R. Sunderland, L.I. Zaitseva, Closed-loop Wool Carpet Recycling, Resources, Conservation and Recycling. 51-1 (2007) 220.


[2] J. Potting, K. Blok, Life-cycle Assessment of Four Types of Floor Covering. Journal of Cleaner Production. 3-4 (1995)201.


[3] R.A. McCall, S.J. McNeil, Comparison of the Energy, Time and Water Usage Required for Maintaining Carpets and Hard floors, Indoor and Built Environment. 16-5 (2007) 482.


[4] P.E. Ingham, S.M. Causer, R.C. McMillan, The Role of Wool Carpets in Controlling Indoor Air Pollution. In Tifcon' 94 – Technologically speaking, Blackpool UK, (1994).

[5] K.R. Makinson, Shrinkproofing of Wool, in: L. Rebenfeld (Eds. ), Fibre Science Series, Marcel Dekker, New York and Basel, (1979).

[6] W.S. Simpson, Chemical Processes for Enhanced Appearance and Performance, in: WS Simpson and GH Crawshaw (Eds. ), Wool: Science and Technology, Woodhead, Cambridge, UK, (2002).

[7] B. M. Muller, Adsorbable Organic Halogens in Textile Effluents, Review of Progress in Coloration and Related Topics. 22 (1992) 14.


[8] J. Wang, J. He, J. Dai, Influence of the Process Conditions on the Formation of AOX Compounds During Wool Chlorine Pretreatment, Journal of Dong Hua University (English Edition). 18-4 (2001) 1.

[9] L. Coderch, R. Pons, P. Erra, A Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopic Study of Wool Subjected to Permonosulphuric Acid Treatments, Journal of the Society of Dyers and Colourists. 107-11 (1991) 410.


[10] F.J. Douthwaite, D.M. Lewis, The Formation of Cysteine-S-sulphonate Groups in Wool and the Effect on Shrink-resistance, Journal of the Society of Dyers and Colourists. 110-10 (1994) 304.


[11] J.M. Cardamone, J. Yao, A. Nunèz, Controlling Shrinkage in Wool Fabrics: Effective Hydrogen Peroxide Systems, Textile Research Journal. 74-10 (2004) 887.


[12] P. Alexander, D. Carter, C. Earland, The Role of the Disulphide Bond in Reactions Which Render Wool Non-felting, Journal of the Society of Dyers and Colourists. 67-1 (1951) 23.


[13] W.J. Thorsen, R.Y. Kodani, Continuous Shrink-Resist Treatment of Wool Fabric with Ozone, Textile Research Journal. 37-11 (1967) 975.


[14] Anon, Melocoton, Enzyme Prevents Wool Shrinkage, Focus on Surfactants. 7 (2005) 4.


[15] J.M. Cardamone, A. Nunèz, R. Ashby, R. Dudley, Activated Peroxide for Enzymatic Control of Wool Shrinkage. Part I: Elucidation, Textile Research Journal. 76-2 (2006) 99.


[16] H.B.M. Lenting, M. Schroeder, G.M. Gübitz, A. Cavaco-Paulo, J. Shen, A New Enzyme Technology Based Method for Obtaining Machine Washable Wool. Proceedings of the 11th International Wool Research Conference, 4-9th of September 2005, Leeds, UK. Paper 77FWS, CD format.

[17] E. Smith, M. Schroeder, G. Guebitz, J. Shen, Covalent Bonding of Protease to Different Sized Enteric Polymers and their Potential Use in Wool Processing, Enzyme and Microbial Technology. 47-3 (2010) 105.


[18] D.F. Waterhouse, Wool Digestion and Mothproofing, Advances in Pest Control Research. 41 (1958) 529.

[19] K. Linderstrom-Lang, F. Duspiva, Studies in Enzymatic Histochemistry. XVI. The Digestion of Keratin by the Larvae of the Clothes Moth (TineolabiselliellaHumm. ), CompteRendu des Travaux du Laboratoire de Carlsberg, Ser, Copenhagen. 21-4 (1936).


[20] D.F. Waterhouse, Studies on the Digestion of Wool by Insects. VII. Some Features of Digestion in Three Species of Dermestid Larvae and a Comparison with Tineola larvae, Australian Journal of Scientific Research, Series, Biological Sciences. 5-4 (1952).


[21] R.W. Moncrieff, Mothproofing. Leonard Hill Ltd London, UK, (1950).

[22] J. Barton, It's a bug's life – or is it? International Dyer. 185-9 (2000) 14.

[23] W. Mill, Beating Moths the Clean Way, Wool Record. 166-30 (2007) 3758.

[24] Anon, Dyebath Assistant, Textile Asia. 27 (1996) 131.

[25] P.E. Ingham, Thermal Studies of Wool and the Actions of Flame Retardants. PhD Thesis, University of Bradford, England (1977).

[26] J.V. Beninate, B.J. Trask, G.L. Drake, Durable Flame-retardant Treatments for Blends of Cotton, Wool, and Polyester, Textile Research Journal. 51-4 (1981) 217.


[27] P.E. Ingham, J.M. Till, Test Method for Assessing the Photobleaching of Wool, Journal of the Textile Institute. 80-4 (1989) 605.


[28] K.R. Millington, Improving the Whiteness and Photostability of Wool, in Advances in Wool Technology, ed. NAG Johnson and IM Russell. Woodhead Publishing, Cambridge, UK, (2009).


[29] W.S. Simpson, The Physics and Chemistry of Wool Yellowing, WRONZ Report R217, Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand, Christchurch, New Zealand, (1999).

[30] W.S. Simpson, C.T. Page, Inhibition of Light Tendering of Wool. Proceedings of the 6th Quinquennial International Wool Research Conference, Pretoria, South Africa, V, 183, (1980).

[31] W. Mosimann, L. Benisek, K. Burdeska, I.H. Leaver, P.C. Myers, G. Reinert, J.F.K. Wilshire, A New Commercial UV Absorber for the Protection of Wool and Wool Dyeings. Proceedings of the 8th International Wool Textile Research Conference, Christchurch, New Zealand, 1990, IV, 239.

[32] Anon, Antistatic Wool Carpet. International Wool Secretariat Report TJ(43), (1989).

[33] P.E. Ingham, M. R. Sunderland, S. J. McNeil, and R. Marazzi. Nanoparticles for Improved Carpet Performance. Proceedings of the 11th International Wool Textile Research Conference, Leeds, UK, CD format, (2005).

[34] K. Parton, Practical Wool Dyeing, in Wool: Science and Technology ed. W.S. Simpson and G.H. Crawshaw, Woodhead, Cambridge, UK, (2002).

[35] P.A. Duffield, Dyeing with Acid and Chrome Dyes, in Wool Dyeing, ed. D.M. Lewis, Society of Dyers and Colourists, Bradford, UK, (1992).