An Australian Government-funded aid project (AusAID) involving Chinese teachers from the Beijing Institute of Clothing Technology and the China Textile University in Shanghai, along with academics from the Department of Textile Technology (University of NSW), has allowed a number of important research projects on various aspects of wool processing and dyeing to be carried out. A summary of these projects is presented here:

Mr Jinxin He (PhD student) is studying the absorbable organo halogens that are present in the effluent from the reactive dyeing of wool. The levels of these compounds are strictly controlled by water authorities and hence it is important for wool dyehouses to comply with the control limits. Mr He’s work includes strategies for minimising the levels of the compounds in effluents from the reactive dyeing of wool.

Ms Qing Liao’s PhD work has been investigating compounds which not only protect the wool component of blends, but also act as a carrier for the dyes used to dye the polyester component. Out of a total of 15 compounds tested to date, two have been found to have wool protective activity.

Prof. Yu Weidong is studying wool fibre bundle strength and tensile properties of wool using the TENSOR, OFDA and SIFAN instruments. The fibre bundle data are being interpreted in terms of single fibre tensile properties together with the variability within and between fibres. Damage to wool tops caused by dyeing in different wool textile mills is also being examined.

Mr Wang Gehui has been examining the mechanical properties of wool blend suiting materials for handle, tailorability, comfort and durability. The fabrics were collected from wool textile mills in China.

Pictured are (from L to R): Jinxin He, John Curiskis, Peter Kidman, Ron Postle, Weidong Yu, Gehui Wang, Qing Liao and Mike Pailthorpe at the University of NSW during the visit by the AUSAID-sponsored teachers from China. The Chinese lecturers and Professors are enrolled as PhD students in the Department of Textile Technology (UNSW). The visit to UNSW is for a period of two months to allow the students to write their respective PhD theses.

In this issue of The Wool Press: