Role of Silicone Softeners in Textile Processing
Silicone Softeners

Role of Silicone Softeners in Textile Processing

Textile processing is an essential part of the textile manufacturing process. Majorly, it involves processing the textile through Pretreatment, Dyeing, and Finishing phases, sequentially. Pretreatment prepares the textile for the dyeing process, whereas dyeing involves using dyes and auxiliaries to provide the fabric with colors, patterns and color fastness.

Finishing is the last step of value addition in textile processing. Depending upon the desired effects and applications, many finishing chemicals are used.

Fabric Softeners – What do they do?

Fabric Softeners are finishing chemicals. Finishing textiles include textile processing that is used to create desired effects and provide functional or aesthetic benefits. The finishing process can alter a fabric's appearance, make it more supple, or enhance its performance.

The Various Applications of Fabric Softeners

Fabrics softeners add softness and smoothness to the textile substrates and fabrics, enhancing tear strength and color shade. They also guarantee soft handling, moisture management, and improved tear resistance.

Softeners have their main effects on the fabrics' surface. In addition to allowing the fiber to breathe, small softener molecules penetrate the fiber, forming a polymer through internal plasticization. 

Softening agents are lubricating agents that allow the fiber to slide within the fabric structure, allowing for easier creasing and deformation. 


There are many fabric softeners depending on their chemical structure and specialized needs. Here are some of the common softeners used in the textile processing industry:

Non-ionic Softeners

Non-ionic softeners are less effective than anionic or cationic softening agents, and they remain stable in the presence of cations, anions and work in hard water. They don't bear any charge to be used for forced applications like padding. 

Anionic Softeners

Easy to wash off, Anionic softeners can be used at normal textile processing temperatures and are compatible with other dyes and bleach bath components. Made by condensation of fatty acid, they are excellent lubricating softening agents and give the fabric a full-bodied feel. They are inelastic in acid and hard water, and they also provide strong antistatic and good re-wetting effects. They are used in special applications such as medical textiles.

Cationic Softeners

Cationic Softeners are suitable for all types and can also be used in an acid environment with exhaustion (pH 4-5). These softeners tend to alter dye toning or reduce fastness when reactive and direct dyes are present.

They are easy to wash and can be used by exhaustion on all fibers in a high liquor-to-goods ratio bath.

Silicone-based Softeners 

Silicone-based Softeners are insoluble in water and must be applied to fabrics after emulsification and dissolution in organic solvents. They are easy to wash and provide a smooth hand lubrication and moderately waterproof surface.

They provide high sewability, elastic resilience, and crease recovery effects. They are durable and stable at high temperatures. They have a wide range of properties, from hydrophilic to hydrophobic.

Textile Chemicals by Cosmo Speciality Chemicals

A 100% subsidiary of Cosmo Films, Cosmo Speciality Chemicals (CSC) is an emerging manufacturer of speciality chemicals. We manufacture speciality chemicals and adhesives that have applications in industries like textile, packaging, and manufacturing.

We bring innovative products that are competitive, eco-friendly, and safe for consumers and society.

Our R&D team consists of scientists with rich experience from MNCs of the USA, Korea, Japan etc. and qualification of Ph. Ds, Post-docs, and Postgraduates from foreign Universities. Our labs are equipped with the latest machines and scientific instruments that enable our scientists to synthesize, test, and refine new products that support our underlying vision of innovation.

Fabric softeners by CSC

We manufacture two fabric softeners- Hanatex Soft HL and Hanatex Soft HB.

Hanatex Soft HL is a Hydrophilic silicone softener for cotton terry towels knits and woven. Coupled with surface smoothness, it gives a soft and silky handle, an excellent inner softness, and exhibits a good bulkiness handle with hydrophilicity.

Hanatex Soft HB is a Hydrophobic silicone softener that is suitable for all substrates. It is a highly concentrated speciality silicone that gives inner softness, surface smoothness and exhibits a soft and bouncy handle. It also exhibits stability shear forces, high liquor TDS temperatures and variation in pH.

Fabric Softeners are an important constituent of textile finishing. Choice of softener must be made depending upon the desired outcomes. The physical properties, substrate type, and application methods are the key considerations when making the right choice.

Being an expert in Speciality Chemicals, we at Cosmo Speciality Chemicals can help you make the right choice.