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Keywords:

  • antibacterial activity;
  • chitosan;
  • cotton;
  • epichlorohydrin (ECH);
  • mercerizing

Abstract

Cotton fabrics treated with a crosslinking agent, epicholorohydrin, in the presence of chitosan (CEC) provide many possible reactive sites for reactive dyes and antimicrobial properties of the grafted chitosan to the cellulose structure. This process was applied by means of the conventional mercerizing process. The chitosan finishing and durable press finishing of the cotton fabrics occurred simultaneously in the mercerization bath. ECH is expected to react with hydroxyl groups in cellulose and chitosan or with amino groups in chitosan to form alcohol crosslinking by the Belfast process. The fixed chitosan content in the CEC was calculated by the nitrogen percentage of an Elemental Analyzer. The color strength (K/S) of the reactive dyes of the treated cotton fabrics did not significantly change with an increase of chitosan; however, the degree of swelling of the treated cotton fabrics decreased with an increase of chitosan and ECH. These performances were retained through 20 washing and tumble drying cycles. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2010