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Comparative Wool Scouring Studies

V.A. Williams

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In laboratory trials on samples from individual fleeces solvent degreasing has shown a higher yield than aqueous alkaline scouring. Differences of 0.5% to 1.4% of clean dry fiber are found when solvent degreasing is compared with traditional soap-soda scouring. Evidence is presented showing that the difference in yield is due to dissolution of oxidized protein material from the tip portion of the wool fiber by hot alkaline scouring solutions. Regain of scoured wool at standard conditions is found to vary with the method of cleaning. Wool cleaned by solvent or neutral detergent has a lower regain than that from alkaline scouring.