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Textile wet processing

Textile wet processing

Textile wet processing is nothing but the process by which the textile materials are treated is associated with water.
There are three main parts of wet processing which are pretreatment, dyeing/printing and finishing. 


Pretreatment is the process by which textile materials are treated with chemicals due to they will be suitable for dying as well as printing. 

This process improves the processability and absorbancy of fabric. 

OperationsDesizing, scouring, bleaching, mercerisation

Dyeing and Printing

The process by which textile materials are coloured with different types of dyes or pigments with the help of water and chemicals is called dyeing.

However, the localized application of dyes or pigment on fabric according to predetermine the designs is called printing.

This process improves the aesthetic value of fabric.

OperationsDyeing and printing


Finishing is the process by which improvement in physical properties, as well as chemical properties of the fabric, using mechanical or chemical finishes.

This process improves the physical as well as chemical properties of fabric as per the end-user.

Operations - Mechanical finishes Chemical finishes

Wet processing
Wet processing

The objective of pretreatment operations

  1. Remove natural and added impurities into the fibre which will improve the processability of the fabric.

  2. As per the need, brightness or whiteness of the fibre will be imparted to get the desired amount of shade.

  3. It improves the ability of fibre to absorb dyes and chemicals.

  4. Impart dimensional stability to thermoplastic materials.

  5. Hydrophobic fibre will be converted into the hydrophilic fibre.

The objectives of dying or printing operations

  1. Improve the fabric's appearance by inserting several colour combinations at various levels. 

  2. As per the demand, the darkness and shades of the fabric will be imparted to get the desired amount of look.

  3. It improves the quality of the fabric by value addition.

  4. By printing, even complex colour combinations and designs can be achieved.

  5. An infinite amount of variations of colours and designs can be settled on the fabric surface.

The objectives of finishing operations

  1. Remove added impurities from the fabric which will improve the quality of the fabric. (These impurities were included during previous chemical processing)

  2. As per the need, brightness or whiteness of the fabric will be finally achieved. 

  3. Prepare fabric for the garment and other end applications.

  4. Wash the fabric, so that overdye or extra hazardous chemicals can be removed.

  5. Prepare fabric for final packaging.

Process sequence

The ideal process equations may be as follows-

Singeing > shearing and cropping > Desizing > scouring + bleaching > Drying > mercerizing > Dyeing > printing > finishing

The above sequence can be changed according to individual fabric requirements and its end-use application.

Important terms in textile processing - 

1. Shearing or cropping The process by which the attached ends of the warp and weft threads are removed by cutting blades. Sharing is done for cotton Cropping is done for jute 

2. Singeing - The process of burning off protruding fibre from the surface of the yarn or fabric improves the lustre and smoothness of the material.

3. Desizing The process by which removal of the size that is applied in a grey stage is removed

4. Scouring - The process by which natural impurities, as well as added impurities, are removed from the fabric

5. Bleaching - The process by which natural colouring impurities are removed from the fabric to improve the whiteness of the fabric becomes permanently white

6. Mercerising - The process by which cellulosic material is treated with a high concentration of NaOH to impart some properties like lustre, strength, and absorbency of the fabric

7. Washing - A cold wash is followed by a hot wash at 80° C and finally at the normal wash.

8. Drying - After the washing, the fabric will get dried.

9. Dyeing - Colour the fabric using various chemicals and dyes

10. printing - It is known as localized dyeing because colours users use in the application are done only at required places on the material

11. Finishing - A Series of processing operations were applied to the grey fabric to enhance its appearance, hand properties and possible application.

Textile chemical processing
Textile chemical processing 

Questions -

Which are the three basic chemical processing for textile fabric?

What are the objectives of chemical processing?

Describe the brief about all chemical processing in textiles?

Further, read - 

  1. Stitching
  2. Singeing 
  3. Cropping/shearing
  4. Sizing
  5. Desizing
  6. Scouring 
  7. Bleaching 
  8. Drying
  9. Mercerising 
  10. Dyeing
  11. Printing 
  12. Finishing 
  13. Dyeing machines


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Cenite, M. (2015). Google Books. In The SAGE Guide to Key Issues in Mass Media Ethics and Law (pp. 847–858). SAGE Publications, Inc.

Chemicals used in textile processing. (2013, January 10). OEcotextiles.

Chemistry of textile manufacturing. (2014, April 29).; Worldofchemicals.

Get to know about chemical processing of textile materials. (2022, May 10). ECHEMI.

Kan, C.-W. (2015). Plasma treatments for sustainable textile processing. In Sustainable Apparel (pp. 49–118). Elsevier.

Textile School. (2010, November 10). Fabric wet processing techniques. Textile School.

textileblog. (2020, June 19). Stages of wet processing in textile industry. Textile Blog.

Vigo, T. L. (2014). Textile processing and properties: Preparation, dyeing, finishing and performance: Preparation, dyeing, finishing and performance (1st ed.). Elsevier Science & Technology.

(N.d.). from

 - Rushikesh Patil (Textile Engineer)
(DKTE Society Textile Engineering College Ichalkaranji)

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