Softening agents are one of the finishing agents which give softness, better handle, drape, cutting, and sewing qualities to the fabric. It is applied on the fiber, yarn, woven or knitted fabrics during the dyeing process. Softening agents are applied to the materials at the last stage of the dyeing process. Most of the time softening agents apply to fabric by a softener machine. Various techniques are applied for softening agent application.
Types of Softening Agents:
Softening agents are classified according to their chemical properties. Softening agents are classified in the following way.
- Cationic Softener
- Anionic Softener
- Nonionic Softener
- Reactive Softener
- Amphoteric Softener
- Silicon Softener
Requirements of Softening Agents:
Following requirements should be fulfilled by a softening agent. They are-
- Physical properties of the fabric should not be affected by softening agent.
- Softening agents should be compatible with other finishing chemicals.
- It should not affect the fastness properties of dyed and printed materials.
- It should not create any yellowish problem to the fabric.
- This softening agent should not affect the depth and tone of dyed or printed fabrics.
- Softening agent should not give irritation to human skin.
- Softening agent should have strong properties on own.
Above softening agents are used for softening the fabrics. The application of the softening agents depends on the types of textile materials. All of the softening agents are not suitable for all types of textile materials. Faulty selection of softener agents could be harmful to the dyed or printed fabrics.
So, we should have deep knowledge about the various types of softening agents.