The effect of cellulase treatment in textile washing processes

Artur Cavaco-Paulo*, João Cortez, Luis Almeida

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


An attempt has been made to understand the interaction between cellulase hydrolysis and mechanical agitation by separating them into two sequential steps. Cotton fabrics were treated with cellulase mixtures of different compositions, and then washed in a process involving a high level of mechanical agitation. The cellulosic material removed during washing had different amounts of reducing ends depending on the cellulase composition used in the initial treatment. The fibre surface did not change significantly after cellulase treatment, but after washing the surface properties were completely different depending on whether the fabric had been previously treated with an endoglucanase- or a cellobiohydrolase-rich preparation. When denim fabrics were subjected to similar processing, it was verified that an increase in colour loss occurred in enzyme-treated fabrics, and that there was an interaction between different cellulase activities and backstaining.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-222
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Society of Dyers and Colourists
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


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