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Silicones for Textile Applications

How are silicones used in the Textiles industry?

Silicone chemistry has now established itself within modern textile manufacturing. Silicones are used in both the processing and final finishing of fabrics and yarns.

Applications cover three main areas:


The use of silicones as lubricants during yarn and thread production improves the gliding properties so that the thread breakage is minimised, the sewing properties are improved and the lustre of the sewing threads enhanced. Lubrication also improves the resistance to high temperatures that might occur during the process.

Processing Aids

Silicones are well known as antifoam agents used during the sizing and dyeing processes. They control the amount of foam generated optimising productivity, continuing to perform in difficult conditions such as high temperatures and high pH values.

They may be added directly to wet processes to knock down or prevent foam or used as formulation ingredients to achieve low-foaming textile solutions.

Typical applications can be:

  • Polymerization of synthetic fibres
  • Production of natural and synthetic yarns
  • Fabric pre-treatment's, dyeing, colouring and finishing

As antifoams, silicones are also employed to control foam in water treatment processes. Modified silicones are used as wetting agents to reduce the surface tension of aqueous systems: the contact time between materials and the aqueous system is reduced and the production speed increased.

Textile Modifiers

Silicones are used as softeners in the aqueous phase of conventional finishing processes. As "hand modifiers" to give an excellent softness and a silky, smooth or grabby hand to fibre and textile.

They can also improve other physical properties, such as tear strength, abrasion, wrinkle resistance, stretch recovery and shrinkage reduction. They can provide either water absorption or water repellence and make fabrics more comfortable and more desirable to touch, purchase and wear.

Product Description Features
AS1522 1 Part RTV silicone adhesive sealant flowable Fast room temp cure
AF1206 Silicone Antifoam 6% Solids High antifoam activity
AF1208 Silicone Antifoam 8% Solids High antifoam activity
AF1210 Silicone Antifoam 10% Solids High antifoam activity
AF1216 Silicone Antifoam 16% Solids High antifoam activity
AF1220 Silicone Antifoam 20% Solids High antifoam activity
AF1316 Silicone Antifoam 16% Solids High antifoam activity
AF25030 Non-silicone Antifoam 30% Active High antifoam activity
AS1500 1 Part RTV adhesive sealant paste high temperature Fast room temp cure
QLE1035 PLE 2 Part Addition cure elastomer 100% Solids