This research explored the effect of a mixed sol on the physical properties of a treated fabric, and confirmed the crosslinkage of SiO2 and dimethyloldihydroxyethyleneurea (DMDHEU) using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). In the experiment, DMDHEU was applied to a cotton fabric and different mole ratios of tetraethoxysilane (TEOS)/titanium (IV) n-butoxide (TTB) were added. The mixture was then subjected to immersion, padding, drying, and curing. The results showed that hydrogen bonds had formed between SiO2 and DMDHEU. The treated fabric had improved antiwrinkle properties, tensile-strength retention, and yellowing degree when the mole ratio of TEOS was increased. By contrast, the softness of the fabric showed the opposite trend. When the mole ratio of TEOS/TTB was set at 10/1, the treated fabric showed a significant reduction of its antiwrinkle properties under both dry and wet conditions.
The fabric treated with TEOS/TTB was superior to the traditionally treated fabric in terms of its ultraviolet (UV) light resistance. When the mole ratio of TEOS/TTB was 2.5/1 or 5.0/1, the addition of 10% DMDHEU during the treatment of the cotton fabric, followed by drying for 5 min at 808C and curing at 1508C for 2 min, resulted in the fabric having improved and more balanced physical properties.