Coloration of cotton fabric using watermelon extract: mechanism of dye-fiber bonding and chromophore absorption
Different approaches have been taken to develop a greener and sustainable cotton coloration process to reduce carbon footprint. Natural compound as a colorant is an excellent alternative to the harsh chemical-based reactive cotton coloration process. However, natural coloration requires improvement in colorimetric properties and a better understanding of the colorant absorption mechanism. Here, we report a process for cotton coloration using bio-friendly natural colorant extracted from watermelon rind. The optical and colorimetric properties of watermelon rind saps (WRS) and WRS dyed cotton fabrics, dye-fiber bonding, chromophores absorption and color-fastness were studied. The experiment showed that the absorption of chromophores into the fabric mainly depends on their molecular weight, the position of the anchoring group and thermal stability. Chromophore adsorptions ranged from 55.4 to 81.7% resulting in excellent dye-fiber chemical potential. Coloration temperature and mordant significantly affect the colorimetric properties of cotton fabric as found in this study. All the dyed cotton samples showed good color-fastness to washing, water, rubbing, and perspiration. Furthermore, cotton dyed with WRS had better UV-protection factor (UPF) than that of the mosty used chemical-intensive reactive dyed sample. Finally, the ecological and economic aspects of WRS dyeing were also compared with commercial reactive dyes.