The application of enzymes in the wool dyeing process is an important research goal in order to reduce the environmental impact and costs of this finishing process. The work has focused on the possibility of reducing the temperature of conventional dyeing, using an enzymatic pretreatment with a neutral protease to improve the diffusion of the dye into the fibers. After the identification of the optimal dyeing process, the study goes on transferring the method to an industrial application. For this reason the influence of a leveling agent added to the dyeing bath was considered and further tests with an industrial dyeing recipe were performed. In order to evaluate possible fiber damage, samples treated with enzyme were observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and analyzed by gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Moreover, the variation of tensile strength and elongation of dyed samples were determined. In addition, color fastness to domestic laundering, perspiration and rubbing were carried out. Finally, color measurements and fiber section analysis were performed. The results show the possibility, thanks to the pretreatment with the investigated enzyme, to obtain a homogeneous and solid dyeing on fibers maintaining good mechanical properties, already working at 85°C instead of 98°C currently used in industry. <alternatives> [...] </alternatives>
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