Lect_17 - Lecture 17: Fibers, herbs and spices Fibers for...

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Lecture 17: Fibers, herbs and spices Fibers for textiles Cotton Flax, other fibers Paper Paper making Spices Herbs
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Fibers Three definitions of fiber: botanical, commercial and nutritional Botanical definition : Fiber is a long, narrow tapering cell; dead and hollow at maturity with thick cell wall composed mostly of cellulose and lignin; rigid, for support, and found mainly in vascular tissue (xylem). Commercial definition : Fiber is a long, narrow, flexible material; may be animal (hair, wool), mineral, synthetic (nylon) or plant in origin. Nutritional definition : Fiber is a polysaccharide that comes from cellulose; indigestible material in food that may be soluble or insoluble
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Types of plant fibers Fibers are classified according to their use Texile fibers (for making cloth) Cordage fibers (for making rope) Textile fibers: Surface fibers grow from the surface of seeds, leaves or fruit (for example: cotton, coir) Soft/bast fibers – found in the phloem (inner bark) of dicot stems (flax, jute, hemp, ramie) Hard/leaf fibers – found in monocot leaf vascular bundles (sisal, Manila hemp, pineapple) Paper-making fibers: Single cells of cotton or delignified wood
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Cotton plant cultivation Cotton is a shrubby plant – grows best in warm climates. Fruit is a capsule (opens at many slits) Cotton seeds have attached fibers: each seed has up to 20,000 hairs Hairs: For wind dispersal
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Cotton cultivation and processing Cotton boll – is the fruit of the cotton plant. Cotton boll splits open and dries Cotton lint clings to the seeds A defoliant is sprayed to the plant (all leaves fall), the boll is harvested by hand or machine “Boll weevil” – a common pest of cotton
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Cotton gin Ely Whitney’s cotton gin made possible the plantation economy of the U.S. South Industrial Revolution in Europe required raw cotton for the textile industry With the high demand for cotton, more fields were planted in the South, and the demand for slave labor grew
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Flax ( Linum usitatissimum) Stem fibers of flax can be woven to make linen Origin and history of use: Used in prehistoric times in Switzerland and in many sites in the Near East Known in Mesopotamia, Assyria and Babylonia – but ancient Egypt was the land of linen (6,500 yrs. ago) Greeks and Romans grew flax for linen too Flanders, in Belgium, and Ireland had ideal climate for linen, became important centers of linen production Now, China and former Soviet republics are important linen producers
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Flax plant The flax plant is adapted to cool climates Has straight slender stems and bell-shaped flowers (blue or white) Two types of flax are grown: one for its seed oil; and one for its fibers Flax stems grow up to 1 meter, with fibers as long Flax is a bast fiber, composed of the phloem fiber cells found in the stem Flax stems are harvested by pulling them from the root; the bundles are gathered and dried
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Lect_17 - Lecture 17: Fibers, herbs and spices Fibers for...

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