, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 827–839 | Cite as

Using atmospheric pressure plasma for enhancing the deposition of printing paste on cotton fabric for digital ink-jet printing

  • C. W. Kan
  • C. W. M. Yuen
  • W. Y. Tsoi


Atmospheric pressure plasma (APP) treatment was applied as a pretreatment process to enhance the deposition of printing paste in order to improve the final colour properties of digital ink-jet printed cotton fabrics. Three printing pastes containing natural polymers, i.e. (1) sodium alginate, (2) chitosan and (3) sodium alginate-chitosan mixture, were prepared separately. After APP treatment, cotton fabric was padded with different printing pastes prior to digital ink-jet printing. Experimental results showed that APP pretreatment could increase the colour yield of the digital ink-jet printed cotton fabric significantly even after washing. In addition, other properties such as colour fastness to crocking, colour fastness to laundering, outline sharpness and anti-bacterial properties were also improved when compared with those of the control cotton fabric printed without APP pretreatment. However, the influence of printing paste on the colour properties of the digital ink-jet printed cotton fabrics depended very much on the composition of the printing paste. The scanning electron microscope images evidenced that the APP treatment could enhance the deposition of printing paste on the cotton fabric surface as proved qualitatively by both the contact angle and wetting time measurement as well as quantitatively by both the X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and carboxyl group/nitrogen content analysis.


Atmospheric pressure plasma Cotton Surface modification Chitosan Sodium alginate Digital ink-jet printing 



The work described in this paper was supported by a grant obtained from the Research Grants Council of The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (Project No. PolyU 5192/08E) and a research grant obtained from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Textiles and ClothingThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHung Hom, KowloonHong Kong, China

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