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MILLING OF WOOL

The milling of wool is one of the finishes that are widely used: The purpose of milling is to provide:
1. Inter fiber felting and fabric consolidation e.g. preparation for raising 2. Increase fiber cover & increase fabric strength ,particularly with woolen fabrics

3. Subduing or totally obscuring of the weave structure 4. Increase at fabric width and density 5. Improve handling (providing milling level are not high ) During milling much lower level liquid are used for scouring. Detergent level are generally higher, typically 5-6 % on the weight of the fabric (owf) ; and greater mechanical action is applied. The differential friction effect derived from surface scale of wool is primary reason why wool fabrics consolidate and ultimately become felted by a ratchet mechanism Traditionally milling machine is equipped with nip rollers to transport the fabric into tapering milling box (spout) having a weighted lid. In the milling box (with the milling lid lowered) the passage of the fabric is restricted, encouraging fabric shrinkage in the length direction. To aid milling, fabrics are milled at low liquor (typically 100-120% owf) as excess liquor can reduce mechanical action and also because slippage. Heat promotes milling and temperature of 40-45 degree Celsius is normally used. pH is also important as wool mills (felts) least in neutral to slightly acid conditions (near its isoelecric point) so that milling is generally carried out with alkali to pH 9.5-10 . Acid milling at pH 2-3 for very dense felts is also carried out. To control fabric dimension during milling, nip roller and milling box pressures are adjusted. For example, if greater width shrinkage is required, the milling lid is lifted and the mouth piece narrowed so that pressure is applied only by the nip rollers. Fabrics are regularly opened out or may be bagged (sewn selvedge-to selvedge) to reduce milling lines or rigs. When milling is complete, fabrics require thoroughly rinsing. New developments in milling machinery include the use of pneumatic fabric transport (jet type), eliminating the need for nip rollers. The fabric is transported to a traditional style milling box with milling speeds up to 200m/min. Elimination of nip rollers removes the problems of processing mark.

PROCEDURE
Three pieces of fabric will be required .One piece that has been shrink-resisted and two pieces from a fabric that has not had a shrink-resist treatment Cut the fabric into 5g patterns and mark out for shrinkage testing by placing datum marks ion the fabric as illustrated

Sew the edges of the fabric using over lock sewing machine to prevent fraying. Fabrics of wool and related animals fibers will shrink when subjected to alternate compression and relaxation in aqua medium. This contraction which is known as milling or felting shrinkage is due to migration of the fibres,,Their unique scale structure and elasticity. A loosely constructed knitted fabric may lose up to 50 % of its area during milling Preparing of milling solution: Dissolve 10 g soap flakes in hot water and dilute to 1 litre using a graduate cylinder. Determining of milling shrinkage: Warm the soap solution to 30 degree C and maintain at this temperature throughout the milling .Immense the fabrics to be milled into soap solution for 5 minutes to thoroughly wet out .Remove from the soap solution and lay flat on the bench and measure, with a steel ruler, the distance between the datum marks to obtain a value for the initial area. If the length between the pairs of mark is I1, I2, &I3 cm and the breadth b1, b2&b3

Hand mill the samples in the soap solution for four minutes and again measure

Repeat the hand for farther period of 4 minutes and measure again until the control (untreated )pattern shrink 30-40 % or a terminal value is obtained .tabulate the results and plot a graph of milling verses percentage area shrinkage for each pattern .Mill only one untreated and the treated sample. The unmilled sample is retained as reference. Washed thoroughly with water to remove soap, dry. Then, we can figure out the difference on the feel and handle of the milled samples compared to fabric that has not milled .