INTRODUCTION TO SISAL FIBRE || PRODUCTION AND PROCESSING || STRUCTURE AND PROPERTIES || USES OF SISAL

INTRODUCTION TO SISAL FIBRE || PRODUCTION AND PROCESSING || STRUCTURE AND PROPERTIES || USES OF SISAL


INTRODUCTION 

Sisal is a leaf based fibre that derives from Agave sisalana, which is indigenous to Central America. Earlier it is used by Mexicans and Aztecs to cloth themselves. Now, Sisal plant is cultivated widely in East Africa, Mexico, Halti, Brazil and in other regions of South America.

PRODUCTION AND PROCESSING

After six or seven years of growth, the sisal plant sends out a flower stalk that rises to some 6 m or 20 ft. When it has flowered, the plant produces tiny buds which develop into small plants. These fall to the ground and take root, and the parent plant dies.

Leaves are harvested when the plants are 2 and 1/2 to 4 years old and at intervals until the plant eventually dies. A good plant may yield 400 leaves during its lifetime, and each leaf may contain up to 1000 fibres. The outer mature leaves are cut away and treated in machines which scrape the pulpy material from the fibres. After washing, the fibre is dried and bleached in the sun, or oven-dried.

DYEING OF SISAL

Sisal has good affinity towards acid dyestuffs, which provide attractive shades of good light fastness. Direct dyestuffs are used in the same way as in the dyeing of cotton.

Acid dyes are applied from a neutral or acid Dyebath. While, basic dyes are commonly used for dyeing sisal which is used in ropes. They have poor light fastness and are less satisfactory than direct or acid dyes when th sisal is used for matting.

STRUCTURE AND PROPERTIES 

LENGTH
Strands of commercial sisal are 60-120 cm (2-4 ft) in length. They are strong and consist of many individual fibres held together by natural gums. The sisal is creamy-white in colour.

SRENGTH AND HYGROSCOPIC 
Sisal fibres are inflexible and stiffer in nature. It absorbs moisture readily and is weakened by being steeped for long periods in salt water.

STRUCTURE
Different types of cell present in a number in a typical specimen of sisal. The 'normal' fibre cells are stiff and straight. Cells are cylindrical and often striated. The average length is about 2.5mm or 1/10th inch. Sometimes fibres appear saw-edged and have tapering ends. The cell walls are thick where the lumen is thin and vice versa. The lumen is often packed with tiny granules.

Some cells cushion-shaped and others are short and rectangular. There can also small and spiral- shaped bodies an be seen, like little springs. Sisal contains about 6 percent of lignin (based on dry material).

STRUCTURE  OF SISAL FIBRE
IMAGE SOURCE: 4. Handbook of textile fibres Volume 1 Natural fibres.pdf

USES OF SISAL

1. It is too stiff to be used for certain purposes, such as power transmission in which it has to run through pulleys or over wheels.

2. Before World War 2nd, Sisal ropes were also regarded as being of limited use in marine cordage. Sisal is now widely used for marine ropes and hawsers particularly in under-developed areas.

3. It is extensively used for making baler and binder twine, and for sacks, paper filters and other industrial uses.

4. The high strength, lustre and good colour of sisal have made it look attractive fibre for certain textile uses. It's ability to take up direct cotton and acid dye-stuffs has made it a popular fibre for ladies' hats.

INTRODUCTION TO SISAL FIBRE || PRODUCTION AND PROCESSING || STRUCTURE AND PROPERTIES || USES OF SISAL  INTRODUCTION TO SISAL FIBRE || PRODUCTION AND PROCESSING || STRUCTURE AND PROPERTIES || USES OF SISAL Reviewed by Suraj Gupta on May 20, 2020 Rating: 5

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