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Laccase catalysed coloration for textile fibres

*Laccases are important enzymes for their application on textile processing due to their broad substrate spectrum and great versatility. Laccase is capable of catalysing the polymerisation of simple aromatic compounds to create colour compounds (dyes) useful for textile fibre coloration.

However, laccase can also effectively break down conventional textile dye molecules facilitating the removal of colour from dyed textile fibres resulting in a bleached or faded effect. These two approaches indicate design potential.


Laccases* were used in the oxidation of simple aromatic compounds to generate coloration of wool and polyamide textile fibres. A full gamut of colours, previously unreported can be achieved using the in-situ coloration process developed. For the reaction to take place on the fibre, only two key ingredients are required, laccase and an aromatic compound, together with the correct conditions and the substrate.

Key advantages over conventional methods include the elimination of pre-manufactured dyes in addition to opportunities for multiple colours and shading to be achieved through the alteration of processing conditions currently not possible with conventional dyes and methods. Novel coloured products synthesised using laccase have been explored in combination with conventional textile printing pastes for precise and multi-coloured patterning on textiles.

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