Durability of water-repellent finishes to accelerated laundering

Jessica Rose Brooks, University of Rhode Island


Water repellency is a common requirement for textiles. Most outwear garments, tents, and bags require a durable water-repellent finish, or DWR. Some specifications often require these end items to pass multiple home launderings tests, which can be expensive in terms of time and resources. The present study sought to determine a combination of factors in an accelerated laundering test that correlated with the water and oil repellency ratings from a top-loader washing machine. Testing rounds were created based on AATCC Test Method 61: Colorfastness to Accelerated Laundering. Samples were then washed twenty cycles and tested to AATCC Test Method 22 and AATCC Test Method 118. Once the results were not correlating with the top-loading results after the round, one of the following conditions were adjusted: amount of liquor (detergent), quantity of steel balls, and temperature. To determine the effect of the alteration, the laundry cycles and tests were run again after the change. Several preliminary studies were performed to determine the evenness of color loss, the evenness of the water-repellent finish, and if residual detergent was affecting the water and oil repellency ratings.^ Results showed that changing the conditions in the Launder-Ometer affects the durability of water-repellent finishes on 70 denier nylon fabric. None of these condition combinations produced both water and oil test results consistent with home laundering in top-loader washing machines. Further research is needed using different fabrics and DWRs to determine if finish durability testing with a Launder-Ometer is incapable of reliably correlating with results from home launderings.^

Subject Area

Sustainability|Textile research

Recommended Citation

Jessica Rose Brooks, "Durability of water-repellent finishes to accelerated laundering" (2015). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI1604855.