Comparative studies on physical properties of Mulberry, Tasar, Muga and Eri silk fibre

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Microscopic, Physical and Mechanical properties of Mulberry, Eri Muga, Tasar and peduncle Tasar silk fibre have been studied according to international standard testing methods. Results have been compared as per the requirement of industry. The results of the investigation thoroughly discussed It is revealed that Tasar, Eri and Muga silk has elongated triangular cross section, Mulberry silk has rounded triangular cross section. Mulberry silk is finest and strongest fiber, Tasar silk is coarser and weakest fiber, Muga silk fibre has highest elongation percentage than other silk with better strength than Tasar but lesser than Eri, mulberry silk fibre.

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Different varieties of silk differ from each other in their chemical composition as well as the physical, chemical and mechanical properties. Silk degumming is a primary important process, which needs to be carried out uniformly to a sufficient level to get good quality in further processes such as dyeing. In the present study, we have compared the efficiencies of five different degumming treatments for eri, tasar and mulberry silk fabrics using conventional, ultrasonic and microwave techniques. Among the various treatments, soda ash plus hydrogen peroxide and enzyme (papain) degumming recipies gave the best results in terms of weight loss and absorbency. As compared to the conventional technique, the treatments under ultrasonication and microwave enhanced the efficiency. The microwave technique was found to be superior, with the advantage of drastic reduction in treatment time, better retention of tensile strength and smooth appearance of silk. The dye uptake also increased after degumming. The molecular conformation of the different silk varieties, as estimated by FTIR spectroscopy, and the crystalline structure, as elucidated by X-ray diffraction, remained unchanged. SEM showed distinct morphological changes on degumming.
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