Munich-based chemical company WACKER has launched a hydrophilic fabric softener for factory textile finishing. The new product, WETSOFT® NE 750, both improves the softness of textiles and retains the ability to absorb water. This is particularly important for towels and materials that need to remain absorbent after finishing.
The company says the silicone fluid formulation is being marketed as a water-free concentrate that is simply diluted with water to produce a ready-to-use emulsion.
The main constituents of WETSOFT NE 750 are block copolymers based on amino-functional silicones and polyglycol. The silicone fluid segments arrange themselves in free-moving loops on the outside of the fabric and reduce friction between the fibers. This provides the fabric with an excellent soft feel, which remains after washing. The polyglycol segments, on the other hand, ensure that the silicone finish, which is normally water-repellent, remains permeable to water.
The WETSOFT fabric softener is a water-free concentrate with high solids content. The product is self-emulsifying and can be diluted with water in a ratio of 1:1 to 1:5 to form a stable emulsion. It can be applied to towels, woven textiles or knitted fabrics by either exhaust or padding processes. Both cotton and blended fabrics containing polyester can be finished with the product, the company says.