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Enzyme assisted printing for decorative surface patterning

*Protease is a highly specific enzyme that is capable of breaking down wool fibres into very small fragment proteins or peptides. To date there has been considerable interest in the application of protease to achieve a variety of functional finishing effects on wool. However, techniques developed within this project explore undeveloped opportunities for using protease as a creative design tool to achieve decorative textile surface effects.


Enzyme pre-treated surface patterning explores the innovative application of protease* in-combination with conventional textile printing pastes, to achieve precision controlled decorative surface patterning through differential dye uptake. An enzymatic pre-treatment technique using screen printing has been developed, that enables selective modification of the wool fibre surface, resulting in increased wettability and dye uptake.

During the post dyeing process improvements in colour strength of pre-treated areas are observed and thus exploited for creative application. This process facilitates dyeing of wool at lower temperatures coupled with shorter dyeing times, therefore reducing the overall coloration processing times and energy demands.

 

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