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  • 1 C. N. R., Institute for Macromolecular Studies Sections of Biella and Genoa I-13900 Biella Italy E-mail
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In the wool textile industry, several processes serve to improve the commercial properties of the fibres such as fineness, softness, length, strength and lustrous. For example, wool is chemically treated with reductive agents then stretched and set. This leads to modifications of the original protein structure causing changes in thermal behaviour, dyeing, colouristic and wet resistance properties. A multidisciplinary approach was used to investigate treated and untreated wools, with the aim of exploiting the nature of the structural changes. SEM and TEM revealed changes on the cuticle and cortical cell morphology; structure modification were studied by FT-IR and DSC.