The processing of textiles to achieve a particular handle is one of the most important aspects of finishing technology. Softeners can improve some properties of textiles, depending on the chemical nature, including soft handle, smoothness, elasticity, hydrophilic, antistatic and soil release properties. They can affect the color and fastness of the dyed textile. In this research project, cotton fabrics were first scoured with nonionic detergent and then dyed with four sulfur dyes of different structures. The colors of the dyed fabrics was yellow, bluish black and bright blue. The dyed fabrics were then treated with anionic, cationic, nonionic, micro and macro silicone softeners. Nonionic, micro and macro silicone softeners decreased the lightness (L*) of all sulfur-dyed samples while anionic and cationic softeners caused only a slight alteration in lightness. The a*, b* and c* values of most dyed samples showed a little change after treatment with softeners except for the color coordinates of the yellow samples, which increased. A considerable increase in the fk values for silicone softener-treated samples was obtained. The washing fastness properties of blue samples decreased while they remained unchanged for other samples. The light fastness properties decreased for all samples after treatment with softeners.
Color coordinatesColor fastnessCottonSulfur dyeSoftener