Mechanism of the Milling Shrinkage of Wool Fabrics


THE work of Speakman1 and his collaborators has indicated that the felting or milling shrinkage of wool fabrics is primarily due to the scaliness of the fibres, but that in cloths of similar construction and composition the magnitude of the effect is determined by the ease of extension and the power of recovery of the fibres. The shrinkage of fabrics milled under comparable conditions is greater in acid and alkaline solutions than in water, and cloths may be rendered unshrinkable by treatment with reagents such as chlorine2, caustic soda3 or sulphuryl chloride4. These phenomena may be due to modification of either elastic properties or scaliness, and the experiments described in this note were designed to determine which of the two characteristics was more affected. A complete account of the investigation will appear elsewhere, but its main features are as follows:

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  1. 1

    J. Text. Inst., 24, 273T (1933).

  2. 2

    Brit. Pat. 417,719.

  3. 3

    Brit. Pat. 538,428; 538,396.

  4. 4

    Hall, J. Soc. Dyers and Col., 55, 389 (1939).

  5. 5

    J. Text. Inst., 22, 339T (1931).

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