Introduction of Fabric Stiffener Material
Fabric stiffener material is used to improve the fabric’s appearance and increase its elasticity and thickness. After stiffening agent treatment, a stiff and firm feel can be achieved. The stiffening agent forms a film or crosslinks inside, between, or on the surface of the fibers, thereby making the fabric stiff and thick. The Stiffener Material is widely used in the finishing process of decorative fabrics, especially luggage fabrics and warp-knitted fabrics, and also in the production of interlinings.
The commonly used stiffening agents are melamine resin, urea-formaldehyde resin, polyacrylate, polyvinyl acetate, polyvinyl alcohol, starch, and polyester resin.
Melamine resin has better stiffness, shrinkage, elasticity, and hand feels after finishing, with excellent stiffness of synthetic fiber. But the storage stability is poor.
Urea-formaldehyde resin has better stiffness and lower cost. But after the finishing process, the fabric has poor elasticity, rough hand, large shrinkage, and poor washing resistance. The storage stability is poor.
Polyacrylate and polyvinyl acetate are light-resistant, aging-resistant, and non-yellowing. They have a good stiffening effect, especially for cellulose fabrics. But when using the same amount, their stiffening effect on synthetic fabrics is not as good as melamine resin, and the fabric lacks elasticity and thickness after finishing.
Polyvinyl acetate is brittle and has poor frost resistance.
Polyvinyl alcohol has good rheological properties, can form a high-strength film, and has a good stiffness finishing effect on cellulose fabrics. But it is difficult to degrade in the natural environment and can form a large amount of foam in water.
Modified starch is readily available, inexpensive, non-corrosive, easy to use, biodegradable, and has a good stiffness effect. After finishing, the stiffness of the fabric decreases in moisture. And it is also easy to deteriorate, mold, poor washing resistance, rough hand feeling, and poor elasticity.
Polyester resin is one eco-friendly type of stiffening agent. It is granule and can be dissolved in water. After finishing the process, the fabric is elastic, thick, and strong. It has Good film formation and excellent adhesion to the fabric. And it can effectively improve the fabric’s color fastness, friction fastness, and tear strength. It is widely used in the hardening processing and coating of various fabrics such as ribbons, curtains, decorative flowers, luggage fabrics, mesh fabrics, interlining fabrics, etc., which can give fabrics a hard, thick, and elastic hand feeling style.
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