A process for the manufacture of artificial leather and the products thus obtained


Artificial leather is produced by steeping a base layer of textile fibres in a solution of a polyamide in formic acid which contains 10-50% by weight based on the weight of the polyamide of a plasticizer for the polyamide and 30-200% by weight based on the weight of the polyamide of a solvent for the plasticizer, the solvent being miscible with formic acid and water, and then immersing the impregnated base layer in an aqueous medium to precipitate the polyamide on to the base layer. Suitable plasticizers are 2-ethylhexane diol-1, 3, tetramethylene sulphone, N-ethyltoluenesulphonamide, dibutylmalate, butyl tartrate, tricresyl phosphate and dibutylphthalate and suitable solvents for the plasticizer are acetone, methanol and ethanol. The base layer may be a napped, knitted or non-woven cotton or rayon fabric. In order to prevent the polyamide from penetrating too deeply into the base layer it may be impregnated with an aqueous solution of lactic acid or urea and squeezed prior to treatment with the polyamide solution. Substances which protect the polyamide from degradation by light, oxygen and micro-organisms, e.g. manganous sulphate and cuprous thiocyanate may be added to the polyamide solution. The aqueous medium used to precipitate the polyamide on to the base layer may comprise water alone or containing up to 20% by weight of formic acid or an aqueous solution containing an alkaline substance, e.g. sodium carbonate or hydroxide or ammonia, may be used. The viscosity of the aqueous medium may be varied by the addition of sodium carboxymethylcellulose or polyvinyl alcohol. The artificial leather may be used for use as lining material for shoes, as artificial wash leather or in the manufacture of gloves and artificial suede jackets.




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