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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Properties of Enzymatically Retted Flax for Linen Fiber

Authors
item Akin, Danny
item Hardin, Ian - UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
item Rigsby, Luanne
item Epps, Helen - UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA

Submitted to: Proceedings Of The American Association Of Textile Chemists And Colorists
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: October 13, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Production of flax will address major priorities of ARS including value-added agricultural crops, new crops development, and sustainable agriculture through improved rural development. Two major problems for establishing flax fiber production in the US are: improved retting, development of standards. Collaborative work between ARS and the University of Georgia has resulted in characterization of properties of flax fiber retted by enzymes. Results of this work advance efforts to solve both problems for establishing a US flax/linen industry.

Technical Abstract: Methods that have been developed for cotton fiber analysis offer possibilities to develop standards for flax fibers, which are needed to promote a new industry. Fineness is an important property that is related to strength. Because of the nature of bast fiber development, fibers are contained within bundles of diverse widths, giving broad distributions of widths and making analyses for precise widths difficult and nebulous. Image analysis was used to develop width categories that allowed these statistics to be compared with micronaire, and some agreement occurred between the frequency in finest category (10 to 30 um) and micronaire values using a modified (5.0 g cut to 2.5 cm lengths) procedure. Enzyme retting produced fibers lighter in color than dew- retted samples based on CIELAB measurements, and other color characteristics varied with samples. Results suggest that use of enzymes for retting could be used to modify fiber properties and possibly tailor fibers with more precise methods, thu providing diverse fibers for various applications.

Last Modified: 7/31/2014
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