Use of Softener in Home Laundering of Cotton Fabric – Hand Feel Value Measurement by PhabrOmeter

C. W. Kan, T. C. Lau

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examined the effect of softener on home laundering on the hand feel value of cotton fabric. Three commercially available softeners (A, B and C) were used in this study but their buffering agents (Softener A – Sodium Carbonate; Softener B – Citric acid and Softener C – Formic acid) were different. Home laundering (include washing and drying) was performed in commonly used home laundering and drying machines with general laundering powder. The cotton fabrics were washed with different washing cycles, i.e. 1, 3 and 5 with the use of softeners. After different home laundering cycle(s), the hand feel attributes, softness, smoothness and resilience as well as relative hand value (RHV) were measured by PhabrOmeter (using AATCC Test Method 202). In this study, it was noted that the softness of fabric washed without adding softener was getting worse with progressive washing cycles. The smoothness of all washed fabrics was better than that of the unwashed control. However, fabrics washed without softener showed a decreasing trend as the number of washes increases. It was noted that the resilience values of all washed fabrics are higher than the unwashed sample. The increased percentage was about 4.7 % increase with five times of home laundering. Experimental results revealed that the overall performance of fabrics washed with Softener C was the best in terms of softness. In smoothness and resilience, fabrics washed with Softener A performed the best. However, fabric washed with Softener C was best among other fabrics in terms of RHV. The results lead to the interpretation that the fabric washed with Softener C provided all hand feel attributes in a more well-distributed pattern.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2203-2207
Number of pages5
JournalFibers and Polymers
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


  • Cotton fabric
  • Drying
  • Hand feel
  • Home laundering
  • Softener

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Polymers and Plastics


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