Why does cotton fabric always turn yellow?

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release date:2021.02.01         17:00

Cotton Fabric

Analyze the causes of yellowing of cotton fabrics, including:

1. Fiber degradation: The fiber is degraded due to heat, light, other radiation, chemicals and biodegradation.

2. Additives: such as yellowing and discoloration caused by adding softeners, oils, lubricants, resins, optical brighteners and metal compounds.

3. Atmospheric pollutants: yellowing caused by the influence of nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and ozone.

4. Transmitted pollutants: the original yellow pigment of the yellowing matter is transmitted to the fabric from the contacted paper, cardboard, plastic film or plastic bag and the pumice used for stone washing.

5. The consumer contaminants: such as sweating and residues from household washing and bleaching.

During storage, yellowing with phenols is the most common.

Measures to prevent yellowing caused by phenols include:

1. Avoid using brown paper, brown cardboard and plastic film packaging finished products containing phenol antioxidants;

2. Avoid using plastic packaging based on thermal shrinkage;

3. Provide good ventilation conditions during storage;

4. Use less phenol derivatives as additives;

5. Avoid the alkalinity of the finished product after finishing.

In addition, after finishing with citric acid as an acid agent, the fabric is also prone to yellowing.

The reason is that citric acid is easily dehydrated to form anhydride when heated. Because citric acid has one more hydroxyl group than general polybasic acids in structure, it is a hydroxy acid, and it is dehydrated to form anhydride during heating and baking. At the same time, the hydroxyl and ortho-position hydrogen in the molecule may also be further removed under the influence of heat and external environment to generate unsaturated acid (trimonic acid), and may remove water and carbon dioxide to form itaconic acid. These unsaturated acids tend to make the cloth surface yellow, so it is best not to use citric acid as an acid agent for white cloth.

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25 thoughts on “Why does cotton fabric always turn yellow?”

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