The market value of wool is limited due to consumer's increasingly high demands for machine wash ability and soft handle. Felting, which is a typical property of wool due to the configuration of the scales of the wool fiber, is a serious problem, especially during washing. Chlorination, followed by polymer deposition, is commonly used to confer shrink-resistance, but this involves major drawbacks with respect to chlorine and the environment. The main aspect of this proposal is to develop a novel enzymatic process for producing machine washable wool by limiting the enzymatic degradation of wool fibres to their cuticle scales. The novel engineered enzymes will be developed to achieve this goal. The radically new bio-processing regimes for wool scouring & finishing processes, and commercial products will be developed. This would be a major technological breakthrough to completely replace a hazardous chemical preparation and finishing route.
|Effective start/end date||1/06/02 → 30/09/05|