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Oxygen plasma treatment to reduce the dyeing temperature of wool fabrics



The possibility of reducing the dyeing temperature of wool fabrics by means of an oxygen low-temperature plasma etching pretreatment at different discharge powers was investigated. We dyed fabrics at 98, 85, and 80°C, replicating the dyeing recipe and process of a dyeing mill on a laboratory-scale machine. The plasma treatment modified the surface morphology and greatly increased the wettability and initial dyeing rate and shortened the half-dyeing time, improving the diffusion of the dyes into the fibers at lower dyeing temperatures. In particular, the pretreatment allowed us to dye the wool fabrics at 85°C without affecting their dyeing performances in terms of final bath exhaustion and colorfastnesses. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2010