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Desizing with the help of the Enzymes

Types of Enzymes

Desizing machine
Desizing machine

Animal source

The enzymes which are obtained from the animal source are called animal-sourced enzymes.

Examples - Degomma, slaughterhouse wastes like liver, clotted blood, pancreas.

Vegetable source

The enzymes which are obtained from the vegetable source are called vegetable source enzymes.

Vegetable source enzymes have further classification as given below Vegetable enzymes are again classified into the following types.

Vegetable source

Malt extracts


Examples- Diastase, Maltostase, Diastafore

Examples- Raddase, Bidlase, Taka, Arcy

In enzymatic desizing, the desizing bath consists of the following ingredients with its role -

1. Bacterial enzymes (To hydrolyze starch)
2. Common Salt. (increases the stability of enzymes)
3. Wetting agents (help in penetration by decreasing surface tension)
4. Acetic acid (Maintain Acid condition)

After passing through this desired bath, which is kept at a certain temperature and pH range, the cloth is pressed, batched, and stored for roughly 8 hours before being washed hot and cold. 

Because enzymes are active only within a small temperature range, a temperature restriction must be maintained during this procedure.

Thermal stabilizers are also utilized, and they operate best around 60°C. Enzymes work best in a slightly alkaline solution, therefore a pH range of 5.5 to 6.5 is required. Acetic acid is used to alter the pH. 

The fabric should be compatible with the wetting agent. Use of enzymes and other chemicals Biocatalyst is what enzymes are.

They act to break down starch into smaller molecules quickly. They are also known as Amylases since they function to eliminate waste.


Concentration (GPL)



Malt extract(Vegetable origin)

3 to 20

50 to 60°C

6 to 7.5

Pancreatic(animal origin)

1 to 3

50 to 60°C

6.5 to 7.5

Bacterial(vegetable origin)

0.5 to 1

60 to 70°C

5.5 to 7.5

Amylase is classified into two types
(a) Alpha-amylase
(b) Beta amylase

There is 95 to 99 % alpha-amylase in pancreatic and bacterial enzymes, while in malt extract, the two types are in a 1:5 and 1:6 ratio, respectively.

Process flow 

Pass through Desizing bath →  Squeezed between roller → Batched → Stored for 8 hours →  Hot wash and cold wash

The action of enzymes - ( lock & key mechanism)

Enzyme + starch → Enzyme starch complex (unstable) →  Enzyme + Degraded starch →  Enzyme + further degraded starch → Enzyme + soluble fragments of starch.

Because starch is made up of two types of polysaccharides, amylose, and amylopectin, which are both water-insoluble, it must be converted into a water-soluble component to be removed.
The degree of polymerization (DP) of amylose and amylopectin, respectively, is 100-120 and 500-1000.

Hydrolysis of starch

Starch (insoluble) → Dextrins( Insoluble ) → Dextrins (soluble ) → Maltose (soluble) → Alpha glucose (soluble).

Commercially, we don't go all the way to the end and instead stick to dextrin (soluble) to save time and chemicals.

Alpha-amylase attacks amylose in a very random manner, just as it does amylopectin. Beta amylase attaches to one of the broken simple chain's ends and continues to remove the maltose units that are formed. 

Desizing machine layout
Desizing machine layout

Questions -

  1. What are the types of enzymes?
  2. What are the animal and natural sources of enzymes for desizing?
  3. What are the alpha and beta-amylase?
  4. Describe the action of enzymes during desizing processing.
  5. Describe hydrolysis of starch.


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Babu, S. (n.d.). Textile Adviser. from

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Landage, S. M. (2022). Biotechnological approaches in desizing of textile materials. In O. L. Shanmugasundaram (Ed.), Applications of Biotechnology for Sustainable Textile Production (pp. 47–73). Elsevier.

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Process of cotton Textile Materials desizing. (2013, September 12).; Fibre2Fashion.

Trivedi, Y. (2021, May 9). Textile Desizing process.

Further reading,

 - Rushikesh Patil (Textile Engineer)
(DKTE Society textile engineering college Ichalkaranji)
Email Id -

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