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1.0                                      INTRODUCTION

1.1      Background of Study

          According to Bob Flexner (1999) stain is a discolouration that can be clearly distinguished from the surface, material, or medium it is found upon. They are caused by the chemical or physical interaction of two dissimilar materials.

There can be intentional stains (such as wood stains or paint), indicative stains (such as food colouring or adding a substance to make bacterial visible under a microscope), natural stains (such as rust on iron or a patina on bronze), and accidental stains such as ketchup on a shirt. Different types of materials can be stained by different substances and stain resistance is an important characteristics in modern textile engineering.

The primary method of stain formation is surface stains, where the staining substance is spilled out onto the surface or material and is trapped in the fibres, pores, indentations, or other capillary structures on the surface. The material that is trapped coats the underlying material and the stain reflects back light according to its own colour. Applying paint, spilled food, and wood stains are of this nature.

A secondary method of stain involves a chemical or molecular reaction between the material and the staining material. Many types of natural stains fall into this category.

Finally, there can be also molecular attraction between the material and the staining material, involving being held in a covalent bond and showing the colour of the bound substance. (

Stain Removal: is a common and persistent problems in the care of clothing, often garments are discarded because of stains damage done while attempting to remove stains. It is especially important nowadays to use correct stain removal procedures. Stains should be treated promptly with the correct methods. Some stains become more difficult or even impossible to remove with the wrong treatment, other stains maybe relatively easy to remove if treated promptly but not if allowed to set permanently. (“Kansas state university”, 1991).

Another factor in stain removal is the fact that stains can sometimes comprise two separate staining agents that require separate forms of removal. A machine oil stain could also contain traces of metal, for example. The colour of stained textile material is also of great concern when considering stain removal. Some stain remover will not only remove the stain, but dissolve the dye that is used to colour the fabric. If a stain is labelled “set”. It means it has become chemically bonded to the material (textile) and cannot be removed without damaging the material itself. It is therefore important to avoid setting stain stains that one wants to remove this can be done by avoiding heat (by not pressing or ironing the stain), sponging stained material as quickly as possible using the correct solvent (wrong solvent will act as catalyst on certain substances and cause the stain to set more quickly), and avoiding immediate of rubbing the stain.(“How to remove stain from almost anything” 1973)

In connection with the cleaning and care of articles made of textile         fabrics, the removal of stain is of great importance. The laundry and dry cleaning experts are concerned about finding the best scientific methods for removing stain from all kinds of fabric. Although the methods may be expensive, if the ordinary house wife would spend a few hours of study, she can effectively and inexpensively carry out most of this process in her home. First, the nature of stains second, a stain-removing agent that will react to remove the stain and third, the effect the reagent has on the material itself.(Knox and Florence, 1925)

1.2      Purpose of the Study

This project was carried out to know what stains really entail and to enlighten people on proper ways of stains removal. It has been observed that most people remove stains from their clothes the wrong way which lead to reduction of colour fastness, decreasing the dimensional stability of the fabric source. This research shows the professional method of removing stains.

1.3      Aims and Objectives of the Study

The aim of this study is to suggest possible methods of eliminating stains especially stubborn and tough ones in the surface of the textile fabrics without causing any damage to the fabric.

The objectives are:

To highlight principle involved in stain removal

          To explain the chemical bonding in the stain this makes some stain difficult to remove.

          To provide guidance on stain removal from fabric users particularly those who specialized in laundry and dry cleaning

          To transform the stain into a form that can easily be removed

1.4      Scope of the Study       

This research provides general information, precaution, methods of treatment, and identification of various types of spot and stain occurring on textile fabric. It also provides general guideline for the removal of various types of stain on textile fabrics that may be encountered during everyday use of our fabrics.

1.5      Significance of the study

This research is important in the sense that for many past years and decades an average person will tend to remove stains from fabric using any kind of detergent or soap but with the use of this research, the right procedure and chemicals for removing stains will be explained. 

1.6      Limitation of the Study

This research encountered limitations due to inadequate financial balance of the researchers due to insufficient income to purchase sophisticated staining removing agents like white vinegar, borax, glycerine, turpentine etc. Another limitation encountered is the lack of enough stain removal textbooks in the school library and departmental library.

1.7      Definition of Terms

          Bleach: Any bleaching agent or chemical compound used to remove colour from a fabric. Examples; Oxalic acid, peroxide and chlorine compound. Use range processing of fibre, yarn or fabric to removal of stains.

          Stained cotton: Discoloured cotton fibres. Cotton almost entirely discoloured to a slightly mottled tan colour is called yellow stained cotton and cotton discoloured by exposure to frost and other cause until it is a grey or in severe cases, a light slate colour is called grey cotton or blue stained cotton.

          Soda Ash: A strong alkaline aqueous solution used in washing and scouring, known as the technical grade of sodium carbonate.

          Stained cloth: A discoloured cloth accidentally stained during manufacturing.

          Stained wool: A wool discoloured by urine and dung. It has a burnt appearance when scoured ad is used for dark clothes.

          Spot: A small discoloured area or in a fabric

          Stain removal: A cleaning procedure for localized areas using cleaning agents and mechanical actions specific to the fabric, fibre and the product type and foreign material present.

          Micelle: This is an agglomerate of molecules formed when a surfactant is dissolved. Pure water has a surface tension of about 72x10-3 N/m. as the surfactant is dissolved in the water the surface tension of water falls down rapidly, fill it reaches a point called critical micelle concentration (CMC) where the surface tension levels off. At this point the surfactant molecules begin to orient themselves into clusters in the solution, the cluster being more or less lamellar or spherical.

          Solvent: A liquid capable of dissolving other materials (Solids, liquids or gases) to form a solution. The solvent is generally the major component of the solution.

          Surfactant: The word surfactant is coined from the expression “surface active agent”. As the phrase implies a surfactant molecule passes surface activity, a property associated with the chemical structure of the molecule. (Wingate, 1979)

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