Bleaching Silk and Woolby@scientificamerican

Bleaching Silk and Wool

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The methods now in use for bleaching silk, wool, and all animal fibers, such as sulphurous acid, alkalies, soap, etc., are so imperfect that Tessié du Motay has patented the following process, involving the use of binoxide of barium, with or without the addition of permanganates. The binoxide of barium is pulverized and subjected to the action of carbonic acid to remove any unconverted caustic baryta present. It is then thrown into boiling water, and after the bath has partially cooled the materials to be bleached are introduced and the bath kept at a temperature of 86° Fah. to 194° Fah. for two hours; silk from wild silkworms requiring a higher temperature than wool, goat's hair, and the like. It is then taken out and washed, put into an acid bath, then washed again. If necessary, the barium bath is repeated, as also the subsequent washings. If this second bath of binoxide of barium does not produce the requisite whiteness, it is introduced into a solution of permanganic acid or permanganate of magnesia before the last washing.

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