Enzymes are biological catalysts which enhance the chemical reactions in the living body but till the early 19th century it was still unknown, the first enzyme discovered was Diastase in 1833 by French chemist Anselme Payen. Enzymes have been used for the processing of natural textile/fabrics for more than 200 years.
Main enzymes which are used in the textile industry are- cellulase, protease, and amylase. They are used for desizing and bio-bleaching purposes along with removal of starch and lignin, hydrogen peroxide, etc. Cellulase enzyme is the most widely used enzyme in the textile industry for denim finishing and decolorization of textiles.
Some of the main uses of enzymes in Textile Industry are:
Desizing: To improve the quality of textile fabric they are treated with starch and other materials and to remove these excess materials mainly starch, amylase enzyme is used for improved and uniform wet processing. Amylases are hydrolytic enzymes which catalyses the breakdown of starch, sugars, dextrins, etc.
Bio-polishing: It is a technique mainly used for cellulosic fabrics with the help of cellulase enzyme and sometimes blend of cellulase and other enzymes. Bio-polishing enhances the quality of fabric by removing the protruding fibers.