What is Foam Dyeing | Flow Chart of Shaving Cream Dyeing | Requirements of Foaming Agents

Last Updated on 25/12/2021

Foam Dyeing / Shaving Cream Dyeing:
In case of foam dyeing, the main dyeing elements is foam. For that’s this dyeing is called foam dyeing. It is also called shaving cream dyeing. Foam dyeing technology of textiles is as an economically very attractive sustainable technology to conserve energy. It is actually a good alternative to other textile dyeing processes. Foam dyeing is being widely used in several countries including the United States and South America.

foam dyed fabric
Fig: Foam dyed fabric

In foam dyeing process, a fabric is padded with a foam formed from an aqueous solution of a dyestuff, a foaming agent and a carrier for the dyestuff and the padded fabric is maintained at elevated temperatures to fix the dye. The advantages of the process include improved dye prefixation, improved migration of the dye into the fiber, higher color yields in the fabric even after relatively short dyeing times and improved dimensional stability of the dyed fabrics.

Foam is a dispersion of a gas in a liquid. Here the liquid is generally water and the gas is generally air but it may also be an inert gas. This is familiar as fort on beer shaving foam etc.

Types of Foam:
Broadly there are two types of foam namely-

  1. Dispersion foam
  2. Condensation foam

1. Dispersion foam: It is produced by the introduction and mixing of gas from an external source into a liquid phase. E.g. Dispersion Tank in textile. It is used in textile processing.

2. Condensation foam: It is formed from the generation of a gas within the liquid, either by chemical reaction or by physical change.

Materials Need for Foam Dyeing:

  1. White fabric – cotton, rayon, silk or other natural fiber to dye on
  2. Dharma Fiber Reactive MX dyes
  3. Soda Ash Fixer
  4. Synthrapol
  5. Squeeze bottles to hold your dyes
  6. Foam shaving cream, preferably containing aloe
  7. Flat, shallow, plastic or metal pan
  8. Plastic mixing bowls
  9. Wire whisk
  10. Tape

Requirements of Foaming Agents:

  1. It should generate foam readily.
  2. It should offer a good wetting capability.
  3. It should exert fast an uniform wetting action.
  4. It should show little or no effect on color fastness.
  5. It should be compatible with other products of the finishing mix.
  6. It should be least effect ed by water hardness.
  7. It should not cause yellowing of white materials.
  8. It should be easily stabilized.
  9. It should be capable of producing various bubble sizes to meet specific requirements.

Flow Chart of Foam Dyeing:

Foam generation

Application to the fabric

Distribution with simultaneous drainage and diffusion of the liquid into the fabric

Foam collapse and release of active substance/fabric

Drying of fabric

Fixation of active substance

Foam Dyeing Procedure:

  1. Pre-wash the fabric in Synthrapol. This removes any oils or dirt that might be on the fabric and gives you better dye results.
  2. Dissolve one cup soda ash in one gallon of hot water. Soak the fabric in the soda ash solution for 5-10 minutes, wring lightly and hang dry.
  3. Dissolve your dye powders (2 tsps. for colors without an *, 4 tsps. for colors with one *, 8 tsps. for colors with two *) in a small amount of warm water, stirring into a smooth paste. Stir in 1/2 cup lukewarm water. For reds and colors containing red, filter the dye solution through a coffee filter or piece of silk to remove difficult to dissolve particles. Add 1/2 cup shaving cream to the filtered dye solution, then pour this mixture into the squeeze bottle.
  4. Dilute about half a can of shaving cream with a cup of water in a large mixing bowl. Whisk the mixture until well blended and thick and creamy. Pour mixture into the tray until about an inch deep.
  5. Squirt the dye/shaving cream mixture over the shaving cream/water mixture in the tray in any pattern you wish. Use a comb, chopsticks, or any tool to swirl and spread the dye into any pattern desired.
  6. Place a piece of the prepared fabric on the surface of the shaving cream and dye pattern. Remove any air bubbles by pushing down gently with a tool or a gloved hand.
  7. Allow the fabric to sit on the surface of the dye/shaving cream for 5 minutes, then remove fabric by lifting carefully. Place on a flat surface shaving cream side up and allow to sit for 2 to 24 hours to develop the dye. The piece needs to remain moist for the activation to take place.
  8. Rinse fabric in cool running water to remove the soda ash, and then increase temperature to hot. Continue to rinse until water is almost clear, then wash in hot water and Synthrapol to remove any excess dye. Dry, press and voila!

Advantages of Foam Dyeing Technology:
Foam dyeing technology is an environment-friendly technology which not hard on the environment like other processes. The advantages of the foam dyeing process include improved dye prefixation and migration of the dye into the fiber, higher color yields in the fabric even after relatively short dyeing times and improved dimensional stability of the dyed fabrics. It is an energy-saving alternative to the conventional textile wet processing process, i.e., washing, dyeing, printing and finishing of textiles.

You may also like:

  1. Sustainable Dyeing Process in Textile Industry
  2. Waterless Dyeing Technology in Textile Processing
  3. Denim Dyeing Process with Indigo Dyes

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