The enzymatic bleaching of cotton fabric has presented itself as a sustainable step forward in the field of textile processing. Instead of employing high temperature and alkalinity to promote the oxidative peroxide bleaching of cotton, enzyme bleaching of cotton fabrics allows near neutral pH bleaching at much lower temperatures by the generation of peracids. A notable drawback observed with enzymatic bleaching of cotton fabrics is that although white fabrics are obtained, initial and instantaneous wetting is not easily obtained. It has been found that the naturally derived surfactant sodium surfactin can be used with a conventional textile surfactant during enzymatic bleaching to obtain much faster initial and instantaneous wetting. Adding small amounts (0.005-0.1 g/L) of sodium surfactin to an enzymatic bleach process caused a substantial decrease in the amount of time it takes a water drop to completely absorb on cotton fabric.
Improving the wettability of enzyme-bleached cotton fabric with inclusion of sodium surfactin