Step by Step Enzyme Wash Process with Objectives and Advantages

Last Updated on 13/03/2022

What is Enzyme Wash?
Application of biotechnology in textiles is a fast developing area in textile industry. The textile research community has showed tremendous interest in developing enzymatic-based technologies for various steps in textile processing. Denim washing with enzymes is one of the most widely accepted enzyme-based techniques in textile industry. The application of enzymes in processing of textile materials is growing day by day due to associated environmental benefits and mild processing conditions. Today, enzyme-based processes are being used in almost every major step in textile wet processing, such as desizing, scouring and bleaching of cotton, denim washing and biopolishing, bast fiber retting/degumming, wool scouring and shrink-proofing, silk degumming, biodye production, enzyme-assisted dyeing, and finishing. In this article I will discuss about enzyme wash, types of enzyme, objectives and advantages enzyme wash.

enzyme wash jeans
Fig: Enzyme wash jeans

Enzymes are bio chemical substances that behave as catalysts toward specific reactions. What makes very interesting the enzymes under a chemical point of view is their high specificity or in other words, their ability to attack selectively a given substrate.

Enzymatic washing of denim fabrics is a well-established technique. Among the two traditional enzymes used in the treatments of denim garments (amylase to hydrolyze starches and cellulose to degrade in different way’s cotton’s cellulose) there is another enzyme that can be employed to attack selectively the molecule that constitutes the blue indigo color resulting ineffective on other types of dyes.

The action of enzyme during enzyme wash, it hydrolysis the cellulose, at first it attacks the having projecting fiber and hydrolyzed them. Them it attacks the yarn portion inside fabric and partly hydrolyzed the yarn portion and fadded affect are produced.

Type of Enzymes:
Mainly two types of enzyme used in Bangladesh. One is Acid Enzyme (liquid) and another is Neutral Enzyme. Neutral Enzyme is two types -a) Powder form b) Liquid form ie, SL Enzyme.

Acid Enzyme:

  1. Acid enzyme color is slightly brown.
  2. pH range is 4.5 to 5.5
  3. Temperature 40°C – 55°C.
  4. Time required 25 mins to 50 mins.
  5. Enzyme affects come within short time.
  6. Staining/Bleeding occurs more in garments.
  7. Production high.

Neutral Enzyme:

  1. Enzyme is slightly white powder form.
  2. pH range is 6 to 7.
  3. Temperature 40°C – 60°C.
  4. Time required 40 to 70 mins.
  5. Enzyme affects come slowly.
  6. Less staining/bleeding on garments.
  7. With pumice stone comes good affect/abrasion on garments.
  8. In dark shade enzyme affect comes good.

SL Enzyme:

  1. SL enzyme is liquid form.
  2. pH range is 6 to 7.
  3. Temperature range 40°C – 60°C.
  4. Time required 45 to 80 mins.
  5. Enzyme affects come slowly.
  6. Less staining/bleeding on garments.
  7. With pumice stone come better affect.
  8. In dark shade enzyme affect comes good.

Objectives of Enzyme Wash:
Enzyme wash is required for the following reasons:-

  • To remove the size materials from the garments.
  • To remove the starch presents on the garments fabrics.
  • To achieve the high low abrasion (stone affect) on garment and seam abrasion in sewing area.
  • Enzyme attack as chemically not mechanically for this reason low damage/wastage then stone wash.
  • For soft feeling to wear the garment.
  • To achieve the buyer reference sample.
  • To increase the color fastness and rubbing fastness.
  • Especially develop the “Bio-Polishing” affect of cotton/denim.
  • Enzyme improves the anti-pilling properties.
  • Enzyme attacks more the surface of the fabrics and gives a very smooth surface.

Step by Step Enzyme Wash Process:
I have also written article on Enzyme Wash in medium shade. The enzyme washing process of batch of 60 kgs denim men’s long pants (Trouser) are described below:-

First Step: Desizing

  • Lot weight (80 pes) ………… 60 kg denim long pant.
  • Add water @ L : R = 1 : 9 ………….. 540 Liter
  • Machine Running.
  • Temperature…………………….. 60°C.
  • Add Desizing agent @ 0.6 gm / liter ………… 324 gm.
  • Add Detergent @ 0.8 gm / liter……………….. 432 gm.
  • Time………………………….10–20 mins.
  • Drop the liquor.
  • Wash 1 time by cold water.

Second Step: Enzyme

  • Add water @ L : R = 1 : 8 ………….. 450 liter
  • Temperature…………………….. 45°C.
  • Add Acetic Acid @ 0.6 gm / liter ………………. 270 gm.
  • Add Anti back staining @ 0.6 gm / liter…….. 270 gm.
  • Add Acid Enzyme @ 2.00 gm / liter ……………. 900 gm.
  • Time ………….. (Depend upon the shade )…..40–60 mins.
  • Increase temperature to 90°C and run 1 minute (enzyme killing).
  • Drain the bath.
  • Rinse Twice, each 3 minutes.

Third Step: Softening

  • Add water @ L : R = 1 : 8 ………………… 450 liter.
  • Add Acetic Acid @ 0.6 gm / liter ………… 270 gm.
  • Cationic Softner @ 1 gm / liter………….. 450 gm.
  • Temperature…………………………….. Cold.
  • Time ………………………………………… 15 to 20 mins.
  • Drain the bath.
  • Then unload the garments on trolley.

Fourth Step: Hydroextractor Machine
After unloading garments from the washing machine then they are sent to hydro extractor machine to remove excess water from the washed garments.

Fifth Step: Drying Machine

  • Load 60 kg garments to gas dryer.
  • Temperature set 75°C to 85°C.
  • Run about 40 mins.
  • After then run 10 mins in cold dryer.

Sixth Step: Delivery
After dryer, garment goes to quality section for quality checking and good one delivery.

Advantages of Enzyme Wash:

  1. Soft handle and attractive clean appearance is obtained without severe damage to the surface of yarn.
  2. Simple process handling and minimum effluent problem.
  3. Better feel to touch and increased gloss or luster.
  4. Prevents tendency of pilling after relatively short period of wear.
  5. Can be applied on cellulose and its blend.
  6. Due to mild condition of treatment process is less corrosive.
  7. Fancy color-flenced surface can be obtained without or a partial use of stone.
  8. More reproducible effect can be obtained.
  9. It allows more loading of the garment into machines.
  10. Environmental friendly treatment.
  11. Less damage to seam edges and badges.
  12. Wear and tear of equipment is minimum due to absence of stone.
  13. Use of softener can be avoided or minimized.
  14. Easy handling of floor and severs as messy sludge of stones does not interfere.
  15. Due to absence of stone, labor intensive operation of stone removal is not required.
  16. Homogenous abrasion of the garments.
  17. Puckering effect can also be obtained.

You may also like:

  1. Denim Enzyme Wash Process
  2. Effect of Enzyme Wash on Denim Garments
  3. Enzyme Stone Wash Process of Garments
  4. Effects of Various Enzymes on Denim Garment Washing
  5. Application of Enzymes in Textile Processing

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