Thesis Details

Thesis Title: 'Inkjet printing of cotton fabrics with anionic inks for color quality improvement
Thesis Author: Thad Gregory
Abstract: Current inkjet printing technologies require a multi-step pretreatment and posttreatment of the fabric to allow for ink fixation, and each dye class requires different treatments for each fiber type used. Printing cotton with reactive inks requires the pretreatment application of alkali. Acid based inks, used to print on wool, silk, and nylon fibers, have very low affinity for cotton fabrics, which prohibit their use on cotton. The purpose of this research was to investigate the creation of a new method in which acid inks could be inkjet printed and fixed onto 100% cotton fabrics. It was hypothesized that a cross-linking agent could be used to entrap or hold the acid ink molecules within the 100% cotton fiber. A 100% cotton fabric was pretreated with a durable-press resin and catalyst, and dried. The anionic inks were printed onto the substrate, steamed, and cured at various conditions. The samples were washed and dried, and the shade and fastness properties were determined for each condition. The results were compared to the conventional method of inkjet printing of cotton with reactive inks. A method to inkjet print 100% cotton fabrics with acid inks was developed. The same method can also be used to hold reactive inks, creating the potential for one pretreatment process to be applicable for several ink systems, as well as for multi-fiber fabrics. The durable-press resin method would allow for the replacement of the expensive pretreated fabrics with a common and easily applied durable-press resin pretreatment. This process may lead to an elimination of the excessive washing process performed in the conventional method.