Cotton Cross-Linked at Various Degrees of Fiber Swelling
AbstractWet and dry density measurements were made on a wide variety of wash-and-wear cotton fabrics and some interpretations of these values are given. Methylenated cotton was selected for more extensive fundamental study because of the simplicity of the formaldehyde cross link and the fact that formaldehyde can be reacted with cotton under greatly different conditions. Formaldehyde was used to cross link cotton print cloth at various degrees of fiber swelling by reacting in systems ranging from completely aqueous to anhydrous using hydrochloric acid as catalyst. The amount of water in the system at the time of reaction is related to the extent of fiber swotting. The extent of swelling at the time of cross-linking and the extent of cross-linking influence wet density, which may be considered to be a measure of the water swellability of a fiber. Cross-linking tends to fix or stabilize a fiber in a given state of swelling: the stabilization is more effec tive when the cross-linking is done in nearly anhydrous systems. The state of swelling at the time of cross-linking modifies moisture regain, water of imbibition, dyeabitity, and wet and dry wrinkle recovery. There seems to be an optimum water content in the reaction system at the time of cross-linking for maximum dry and wet wrinkle recovery. As the water content in the reaction system is increased beyond the optimum, the amount of dry wrinkle recovery becomes much less than wet wrinkle recovery. This phenomenon leads to vastly different wash-and-wear ratings of fabric. A mechanism is presented diagrammatically to explain wet and dry wrinkle recovery. The mechanism is based upon hydrogen-bond cross links, covalent-bond cross links, and the position of the two types of cross links.