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Production of Natural Bamboo Fibers-3: SEM and
EDX Analyses of Structures and Properties
By Bahrum Prang Rocky and Amanda J. ompson, e University of Alabama
is study presents in-depth scanning electron microscopic (SEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopic (EDX)
analyses of the surface contour of natural bamboo bers from Phyllostachys rubromarginata species processed under various
eco-friendly conditions. Both fresh and dry bamboo were used. Fresh bamboo provided easier and quicker processing.
Two age groups, 6-months to 1-year-old and 2 to 4-year-old bamboo plants, were also studied for ber output. Subjective
visual observations suggested that the age of the bamboo aected ber yield. e diameter of the bamboo bers was 10-17
µm, which ts within standard spinning parameters. Analysis showed that the bamboo bers were well-rounded along the
longitudinal direction, unlike bamboo viscose typically found on the market. is article provides a detailed description of
some successful processes for bamboo ber production.
Bamboo Fiber Production, Bamboo Fiber Structure, Eco-friendly Fibers, EDX, SEM
is study has three parts. Part 1 discussed experimental proce-
dures for various approaches to natural bamboo ber (referred
to hereaer in the present study as “bamboo ber,” as opposed
to “viscose bamboo ber”) production for textile use.1 Appli-
cability for further processing, length, and linear density of
produced ber were reported. Part 2 reexamined the potential
routes derived from Part 1.2 e antibacterial activity of the
produced bers were assessed and compared with raw bamboo
plants and commercial bamboo viscose. e current article
(Part 3) reports the best routes of bamboo ber production and
SEM/EDX analyses of various properties.
In recent years, eco-friendly labeled textile products are
gaining more popularity than equivalent products not adver-
tised as eco-friendly. Consumers are three times more likely
to choose such products.3–9
Manufacturers may choose to produce bamboo bers that
are not chemically converted into viscose,10 following con-
sumers’ inclination toward environmentally-safe products.
is, however. may not be feasible due to the lack of eco-
nomic support, advanced technologies, or adequate research
that could guide an economically-attainable process. As a
result, few of such bers are being produced.
A large portion of the bamboo plant goes unused due to
parts considered direct waste products or unusable ber. For
instance, bamboo bers produced through the mechanical
or steam release processes yield bers of varied length of 2
to 150 mm,11 8.2 to 67.9 mm,12 and 5 to 135 mm,13 result-
ing in an extremely-wide Gaussian distribution—smaller
non-spinnable bers go to waste as they were processed
out during yarn spinning. us, the percent ber yield
from mechanical bamboo textile preparation was very low.
Technological improvements, therefore, are extremely cru-
cial to support eco-friendly ber industries. A related case
study covers the South American and Mexican sisal and
henequen industries that are less productive due to lack of
New processes that facilitate bamboo ber use in textiles
must be sustainable and capable of providing enough vol-
ume of material for use. Recently, bamboo bers in textiles,
as eco-friendly alternatives, have been a very popular topic
for researchers and popular media alike.11,14,15
An understanding of the chemical composition of bamboo
plants is needed before more eective enzymes or chemicals
for degumming and relevant processing can be selected.
Degumming of bers, sometimes called delignication, is
Chemical Composition of Bamboo Plant11,13,18–22
Component Percentage (varies among species)
Water-soluble substances (organic and
Water-insoluble constituents (small
particles of resin, ash, tannin, wax,
protein, fats, and pigments)
27 | Vol. 5, No. 6 November/December 2018
AATCC Journal of Research
DOI: 10.14504/ajr.5.6.4 Accepted: 09/03/2018
dened as a process of removing lignin, pectin, hemicellu-
lose, and extractives for ber production. Table I provides
the percentages of major components in bamboo. Unlike
some other bast bers, the lignin content is very high in
bamboo. Lignin, an amorphous and hydrophobic complex
that is a branched polymer of aromatic compounds, must
be removed to access the bers. Two other major constitu-
ents are hemicellulose and cellulose. With a higher degree
of polymerization (higher molecular weight), cellulose
is a straight and non-branched semi-crystalline polysac-
charide. On the other hand, hemicellulose has a lower
degree of polymerization (lower molecular weight), with
hydroxyl and acetyl groups that are water soluble and can
be removed by ber extraction.12,16,17 e main chemical
components of bamboo plants include cellulose, hemicel-
lulose, lignin, and pectin.
Bamboo as a plant can grow on infertile land, requiring
little care, irrigation, fertilizers, insecticides, or pesticides
for cultivation. e plants absorb 35% more carbon dioxide
than other plants (e.g., timber) and is therefore benecial to
the environment.23 It produces 20 times more timber than
other timber producing plants.24 It can be introduced to
prevent deforestation and soil erosion, and to provide cook-
ing fuel.24,25 e environmental benets of bamboo as a raw
material would apply to most products made from bamboo,
but the subsequent manufacturing processes may negate
some of the advantages. ere are three dierent classica-
tions of bamboo based on the extraction process used.
Bamboo Viscose Fiber
Bamboo viscose ber is regenerated cellulose from pulp,
similar to other viscose ber. Most of the benecial proper-
ties of bamboo are lost in bamboo viscose ber.15,26 Viscose
bers are regenerated by using a high concentration (16 to
30%) of caustic soda (NaOH), carbon disulde (CS2, ~10%),
sulfuric acid (H2SO4), sodium sulfate (Na2SO4), zinc sulfate
(ZnSO4), and other chemicals.27–31 ese chemicals have strong
harmful impacts on the environment, workers’ health, and
machinery.32,33 erefore, bamboo viscose is not classied as an
eco-friendly ber.2 Most of the textiles made with bamboo in
the current marketplaces are actually made of bamboo viscose.
e bamboo ber-extraction process is carried out using
mechanical aids and mild chemicals.11-13 is type of ber
contains its natural lengths and some of bamboo’s original
properties. However, some anti-UV and antimicrobial/
bacterial properties may be lost due to the interaction of
chemicals with ber components during processing. us,
its processing is less destructive than bamboo viscose. Some
retailers and producers in the marketplace are claiming their
products to be of this type, but in most instances, the prod-
ucts appear to contain viscose bers.26,34,35
Clean Eco-Friendly Bamboo Fiber
Clean eco-friendly bamboo ber is produced without using
any harsh chemicals. is type is not commercially available
at this time. ough some strong mechanical treatments
can extract bamboo bers, it has not been possible to get
spinnable, so-feeling, and pliable bers without appropriate
degumming. Some researchers have considered using sev-
eral enzymes or microbial cultures, but no successful work
for textiles has been published to date. Bamboo bers have
been reported as non-spinnable and non-pliable when using
enzymatic treatments for ber extraction.12,13,35,36
Research on bamboo as a ber material for textile production
is in its infancy11 and has been performed on bamboo viscose
(chemical regeneration of cellulose) or bamboo bers for use
in composites with synthetic polymers.35–42 Both of these areas
of research do not require the bamboo ber length as starting
material to be within the parameters needed for yarn produc-
tion. Bast bers are generally very suitable for use in polymeric
matrices; most of the research focus has been on bamboo in
ber-reinforced laminates. Blending bamboo bers or ber-
bundles with other materials, not only produces a product with
high quality and durability, it also increases the biodegradability
and renewability of the product. But this research is not highly
focused on an eco-friendly line because of the matrix materi-
als (mostly synthetics) needed for the composites.43 Similarly,
blending bamboo viscose ber with other traditional bers
has also been reported to improve yarn properties. Tausif et al.
conducted a comparative study of bamboo viscose and cotton
when blended with dierent ratios of polyester.44 By investigat-
ing dierent properties of polyester-cotton blend (PC) and
polyester-bamboo viscose blend (PB), it was concluded from
the study that PB had higher strengths, lower bending lengths
(indicating soness) and better comfort, and lower thermal
resistance or higher thermal conductivity. us, bamboo vis-
cose is good for summer clothing and has very similar moisture
management properties to cotton.44 is provides the possibility
of using bamboo bers in blends with synthetic or other natural
bers when it is not solely spinnable. Yet, the use of low use or
no use of chemicals to produce bamboo bers would preserve
more of the unique properties of bamboo, unlike viscose. is
study aims to create bamboo bers using the least amount of
chemicals and to provide analyses of the surface characteristic
of the output bers.
Materials and Equipment
Two dierent age-groups, 0-1-year-old (these were basi-
cally 6-month to 1-year old plants) and 2-4-years-old, fresh
Phyllostachys rubromarginata (red margin) bamboo plants
were obtained from Lewis Bamboo Inc. All the enzymes and
chemicals used in this research are the same as mentioned
November/December 2018 Vol. 5, No. 6 | 28
AATCC Journal of Research
previou sly.1 Sodium hydroxide (NaOH) pellets, sodium car-
bonate (Na2CO3), sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), hydrogen
peroxide (30% H2O2), and an acidic buer of acetic acid and
sodium acetate were American Chemical Society (ACS) grade
from VWR. For processing, a Launderometer (SDL Atlas), bam-
boo splitters, milling machine, reactor, dryer, scanning electron
microscope (SEM, FEI Quanta 200 3D) and energy-dispersive
X-ray spectroscopic (EDX, LYRA3 TESCAN, Ametek Materials
Analysis Division), and regular and/or microbalances were used
as mentioned previously.1 Commercial bamboo viscose, regular
viscose (Dharma Trading Co.), and bleached cotton fabrics
(Testfabrics Inc.) were also used in this study for comparison.
Note that proper laboratory safety precautions, including safety
glasses and personal protective clothing and shielding, should
be used during the following procedures.
Fiber Production Processes
e major focus of this work was to carry out ber production
experiments on fresh Phyllostachys rubromarginata bamboo
collected in August 2016. From previous experiments, it was
speculated that fresh bamboo might be easier to extract bers
from as opposed to dried bamboo, which was dicult to
process during initial steps. Bamboo culms were prepared
aer cutting each node. Culms were refrigerated before use to
keep them fresh. e age of the bamboo was also considered
as a variable, thus the two dierent age-groups of bamboo
specimens were collected.
Both age-groups of bamboo samples were treated separately
to identify if there was any dierence among properties, as
well as ease of ber extraction. Scheme 1 shows the step-
wise pretreatments, processes, and post-treatment that were
carried out during bamboo ber production from fresh
bamboo specimens. Vegetable scrapers were used to remove
the exodermis (green skin) of the culms followed by splitting
into 6-even-sized strips per culm. One set of the strips was
directly crushed in the milling machine followed by comb-
ing with steel brushes. e 0–1-year-old bamboo specimens
were divided into two sets, where one set (labeled CPF-3,
where CPF is the combined process on fresh bamboo—the
Scheme 1. Bamboo ber production from fresh red margin bamboo species.
29 | Vol. 5, No. 6 November/December 2018
AATCC Journal of Research
ber was produced from fresh specimens by combined
mechanical and chemical processes) was treated directly with
8 g/L of NaOH solution at 80 °C for 3 h in a Launderometer
and another set (CPF-4) was soaked in a solution of 6 g/L of
NaOH for three days at room temperature (RT, 21 ± 2 °C),
followed by treatment in a solution containing 5 g/L of NaOH,
5 g/L of Na2CO3, and 4 mL/L H2O2 at 80 °C for 3 h. Visual
observations suggested that bers processed with greater
amounts of NaOH (8 g/L) were short, weak, and damaged,
although these properties were not directly measured. Due to
these ber characteristics, this process was not replicated for
other experiments. Similarly, the 2–4-year-old bamboo speci-
mens were also divided into two sets. One set (CPF-5) was
directly treated in a solution of 6 g/L of NaOH and 6 g/L of
NaHCO3 at 80 °C for 3 h. In this case, a lower concentration
of NaOH was used with the weak base NaHCO3 rather than
using the higher concentration of NaOH alone. is yielded
better ber than the previous experiment based on visual
observations. Another set (CPF-6) of the 2-4-year-old crushed
specimen was soaked in 6 g/L of NaOH at RT for three days
followed by treatment in 6 g/L of NaOH, 6 g/L of Na2CO3, and
4 mL/L of H2O2 solution at 80 °C for 60 min.
Another set of fresh strips for each age group was soaked
in water at RT for three days to see if it would be easier to
process. Aer soaking, strips were crushed and combed
with steel brushes. e 0-1-year-old CPF-1 and the
2-4-year-old CPF-2 bamboo specimens were processed in
a solution of 6 g/L of NaOH and 6 g/L of NaHCO3 at 80 °C
for 3 h in the Launderometer.
Modication of sample processing was performed in two
ways: samples CPF-1, CPF-2, CPF-3, and CPF-5 were modi-
ed using a bleaching solution of 4 g/L of NaOH, 4 g/L of
NaHCO3, and 4–6 mL/L H2O2 solution at 80 °C for 60 min
(Scheme 1). Sample CPF-4 and CPF-6 were treated in 4 g/L
of NaOH, 5 mL/L of H2O2 and 10 mL/L of fabric soener
under the same conditions, followed by washing and drying.
Other Fiber Sample Production
For a comparative study of structure and other properties, high-
temperature chemical (HTC), steam release (SEP), combined
(CP), and enzymatic processes (EP) using pectinase, xylanase,
pectolase, and laccase were replicated as mentioned in the lit-
erature.1 e SEP involved preheating for 60–90 min at 100 °C,
heating at 180 °C for 20 min, followed by the release of steam
under 15-17 bar pressure at 200 ± 5 °C for 3–5 s. A catch pot
and steam stack were used as safety precautions.
Samples SEP-1 and SEP-2 were produced from the SEP;
HTC-2 from the HTC; CP-1m, CP-2, CP-3, CP-4, CP-5,
CP-6m, CP-7m, CP-8, and CP-11 from the CP; and EP-3m,
EP-4m, and EP-6m from the EP. e names of the samples
were kept identical as discussed in the previous article1 to
refer to the pertinent process. e label “m” was added to
the sample names to identify modied sample processing.
It should be noted that all processes used no more than 2%
of NaOH, which are very mild conditions as compared with
the viscose process (16 to 30%).
SEM and EDX Experiments
Extracted Bamboo Fiber Diameters
e diameter of the extracted bamboo bers (described in the
Introduction under the sub-heading Bamboo Fiber) was mea-
sured by scanning electron microscope (SEM), environmental
scanning electron microscopy (ESEM), and energy-dispersive
X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) by following ASTM E2228–10 and
AATCC TM 20-2013.45,46 EDX was used as an imaging tool
in this project. SEM was not solely used as bers are not good
conductors of current and promote charging on the speci-
men surface. is non-conductivity and the charging eects
made it dicult to collect high resolution and quality images.
EDX allows better imaging in such situations. Fiber samples
were randomly selected and a gold coating was applied before
microscopic study. Averages were calculated from the diame-
ters of 15–20 bers. Bleached cotton bers and bamboo viscose
bers were removed from fabrics and used for comparison.
Extracted Bamboo Fiber Surface Contours
e surface contour of the bers were examined by SEM,
ESEM, and EDX analyses. e samples were suitable for
imaging aer a gold coating was placed on the sample to
avoid charging and to produce high-resolution images.
Results and Discussions
Subjective Fiber Observations
Since one purpose of this study was to assess the extraction
process of bers from fresh bamboo of dierent ages, similar
selected treatments for ber extraction were performed as men-
tioned in the literature.1 e soaking of bamboo strips before
crushing did not help the extraction process noticeably, as was
the case for dried bamboo. Moreover, the produced bers were
almost identical for the respective age group aer either direct
crushing or soaking before crushing. However, from visual
observation, the bers from 0–1-year-old bamboo appeared
to result in a slightly greater number of short bers than the
2–4-year-old bamboo, although this was not measured. When
the greater amount of NaOH (8 g/L) was applied for CPF-3, the
number of short bers signicantly increased when compared
to other specimens, such as CPF-1 and CPF-4 (Scheme 1). A
lower amount of NaOH (4–6 g/L), combined with NaHCO3 or
Na2CO3 yielded bers of improved length. e modication of
bers CPF-1-3 and CPF-5 in one step by the solution contain-
ing H2O2 was not as good as using two steps for CPF-4 and
CPF-6. However, CPF-4 and CPF-6 (Scheme 1) was modied
and soener was used that made the bers very so and pliable,
adding to the characteristics desirable for spinning.
November/December 2018 Vol. 5, No. 6 | 30
AATCC Journal of Research
SEM and EDX Analyses
e diameter of extracted bamboo bers was measured by
SEM and EDX. To maintain the standard of measurement, the
average diameter was taken from diameters of 15–20 bers. A
sample of bleached cotton bers and two viscose bers—one
regular viscose and another bamboo viscose—were also used
in this assessment to compare with extracted bamboo bers
in this research. Table II gives the maximum, minimum, and
average diameters of the specimen bers. e mean diameter
of bers in specimen SEP-1 was least among all the bers.
is specimen was highly damaged by the SEP.
It was noticed that the average diameter (Fig. 1) of all the
bamboo bers were greater than that of bamboo viscose
and regular viscose, except for specimens SEP-1, CPF-4,
and EP-3m. ese three specimens were either completely
or partially damaged, which would account for the smaller
diameters as they appeared broken apart in some areas
or highly delignied. ese three specimens had a wide
Maximum, Minimum, and Average Diameter of Extracted Bamboo Fibersa
Sample Maximum Diameter
Sample Maximum Diameter
CPF-1 16.74 5.78 10.56 CP-5 18.37 5.77 11.90
CPF-3 15.02 6.87 10.96 CP-6m 18.12 8.31 13.11
CPF-4 12.40 3.92 8.24 CP-7m 23.44 8.15 13.45
CPF-5 17.55 8.03 13.12 CP-8 15.70 7.31 10.30
CPF-6 23.70 4.38 11.79 CP-11 20.96 7.62 14.59
SEP-1 9.17 3.75 5.76 EP-3m 13.07 6.20 9.94
SEP-3m 22.90 8.00 15.80 EP-4m 22.20 12.49 17.33
HTC-2 21.58 8.66 15.90 EP-6m 15.94 12.19 15.17
CP-1m 21.31 4.10 11.29 BV 14.24 7.79 10.30
CP-2 14.16 12.26 13.32 RV 11.90 9.02 10.08
CP-3 18.36 5.71 10.55 BC 16.82 13.18 14.21
CP-4 16.53 6.64 10.64
aCPF = combined process on fresh bamboo, HTC = high-temperature chemical process, SEP = steam release process, CP = combined process, EP = enzymatic process, BV =
bamboo viscose, RV = regular viscose, and BC = bleached cotton.1 m stands for modied process.
Fig. 1. e average diameter of extracted bamboo bers along with bamboo viscose, conventional viscose, and bleached cotton bers. See Table II for sample codes.
31 | Vol. 5, No. 6 November/December 2018
AATCC Journal of Research
Gaussian distribution of lengths as well. Fiber lengths were
measured in a separate study.1 ese three specimens,
and some other damaged bers, had greater dierences
between their respective maximum and minimum lengths
with lower average lengths. However, the average diam-
eter (10–17 µm) of most of the bamboo bers (including
damaged bers) was consistent with the diameter of cotton
bers (14.21 µm). Among the specimens of coarser bers,
CP-11, EP-4m, EP-6m, and HTC-2 were produced mainly
by EPs and did not appear to be well delignied (Fig. 1).
All bamboo bers from specimens that showed good anti-
bacterial properties in the prior study2 had greater diameters
than bamboo viscose. is greater diameter may be related
to remnants of lignin and other contents in bamboo bers
responsible for any antibacterial activity still present in
these extracted bers. Afrin et al. noted that hemicellulose
or soluble components in bamboo are not responsible for
antimicrobial activity.47 Lignin is insoluble in water or in
mild alkali solutions. us, bamboo ber may have some
remaining antimicrobial activity if no excessive or harsh
chemicals were used for extraction and the lignin compo-
nent was intact.
e surface contour of the produced bers was examined
using the previously described standard test methods.45,46
Since no standard of the bamboo surface structure has
been established or documented, 14 dierent types of
extracted bamboo bers, along with traditional viscose
bers, were used to analyze the surface contour of the
bers. is analysis can provide the standard shape and
structure of bamboo bers. SEM and EDX techniques
were used to analyze individual ber’s structure. While
some bers were very coarse or in bundle-form, others
were very ne. erefore, varying magnications are pre-
sented for individual bers. All the images were collected
to focus on the surface structures and elements present
on the ber’s surface so that the eectiveness of various
processes could be assessed qualitatively.
Analysis shows that the bers from intensive SEP were
slightly burnt and not well-separated (Fig. 2 for specimen
SEP-1) leaving high lignin content (the non-brous part
of the ber bundle) on the surface. Subjective visual and
hand assessment suggested that these bers were too sti
and brittle to undergo any further modication. However,
the application of moderate SEP followed by modication
produced less damaged bers with improved removal of
non-brous content (SEP-3m in Fig. 2). ese
bers might have become well-separated by
further mechanical treatment (e.g., brushing and
combing). So, moderate SEP (i.e., less heat and
fewer number of steam releases), brushing, and a
very light chemical treatment is one possible way
to produce bamboo ber under gentle condi-
tions. Most of the enzymatic processes were also
ineective in producing ne ber, even aer mild
chemical treatment (NaOH, Na2CO3/NaHCO3,
H2O2). us, specimen EP-3m and CP-11 were
still very coarse (bundle of bers) but showed a
cleaner surface with some round-shaped (cylin-
drical) bers (Fig. 2).
e mild-chemical HTC process produced
cleaner ber bundles, but the bers were still
bonded by some non-brous material as shown
in Fig. 3 for HTC-2. Similarly, the CPF-5, EP-6m,
and EP-4m bers in Fig. 3 are well-separated with
traces of extraneous matter that could possibly
be removed with additional processing. All four
specimens were produced either in a minimal
number of steps or by minimal mechanical
applications in the process. is indicates that
mechanical applications (e.g., carding/combing)
are very important for producing ne and spin-
nable bamboo bers.
Fig. 2. Surface structures of the bamboo bers that were least separated. SEP = steam
release process; CP = combined process; EP = enzymatic process.
November/December 2018 Vol. 5, No. 6 | 32
AATCC Journal of Research
Non-brous material was easily removed as par-
ticulate matter aer combing. However, bamboo
ber combing requires specially-adapted machinery,
making the process unlike conventional combing
processes for cotton or wool.
Although the specimen CPF-3 used a bamboo sample
less than 1-year-old and was treated in highly alkaline
solution (8 g/L NaOH), visual observation suggested
that its yield may be less than ber produced either
from fresh or from dried raw bamboo, although this
was not tested. But the ber was nicely separated
(Fig. 4). e specimen CP-3, from dried bamboo, was
produced using a lower chemical concentration, but
greater mechanical processing (Fig. 4), suggesting that
a greater yield was obtained than CPF-3.
e image of CPF-1 also shows a very clean surface
with almost no traces of binding matter and was uni-
form along the length of the bers. CP-4 bers, one
of the best specimens of produced bers, were very
clean and well-separated. CP-4 was produced using a
combination of chemical and mechanical processes,
with modication done using bleaching solu-
tion (NaOH, Na2CO3, and H2O2) along with fabric
soener. It is assumed that the use of fabric soener
improved ber quality due to the soener’s ability to
weaken the bonds of lignin and other contents and
promoted better action by the bleaching solution.
All four images in Fig. 4 present standard shapes of
bamboo bers that are very well-rounded along the
Bamboo bers are rod-like or cylindrical in shape as
shown in Fig. 5. CP-1m and CP-8 are two of the best
ber specimens produced through CP followed by a
modication process used in this research. Commer-
cial bamboo viscose (BV) and regular viscose (RV)
bers are completely dierent in shape as they are
controlled by the shape of spinnerets used in viscose
ber production. e surface structures of viscose
bers from dierent plants or wood pulps can be
identical. e surface structures of the bamboo bers
were found to be round-shaped for all the specimens
tested in this research.
Since bamboo bers are bonded strongly together by
dierent chemical components (e.g., lignin, pectin,
and hemicellulose), it is dicult to produce bamboo
bers. Combinations of various processes at various
stages can be applied to produce bamboo ber suc-
cessfully. Pectinase enzyme had a signicant eect
Fig. 3. Surface structures of the bamboo bers that were moderately separated.
HTC = high temperature, mild chemical; CPF = combined process on fresh
bamboo; EP = enzymatic process.
Fig. 4. Surface structures of the bamboo bers that were well separated.
CP = combined process; CPF = combined process on fresh bamboo.
33 | Vol. 5, No. 6 November/December 2018
AATCC Journal of Research
on chemically-treated bamboo ber. is resulted in bers
that were broken into short lengths, but with a very ne
diameter. erefore, more research needs to be conducted
with combined enzymatic and/or chemical or mechanical
treatments to nd out which combinations of variables cause
damage and which give the desired results for spinnable
ber. It may be possible to produce high-quality bers using
enzymes at various stages of the process and to maintain
In most cases, the combination of chemical and mechani-
cal processing tested in this research successfully produced
bamboo bers usable for textiles. Use of fresh rather than
dried bamboo proved to be benecial in allowing milder
process conditions as well as to reduce total number of steps
and time required for ber production. Selection of the
proper age of the bamboo plant can inuence the processes
used and the ber yield obtained. It was found qualitatively
that plants at least 2–4 years-old were better candidates for
greater ber yield.
An analysis of the ber diameter showed that the average
diameter of bamboo bers from the Phyllostachys rubromar-
ginata species fell within the range of 10–17 µm for bers
not damaged by processing. is diameter range was consis-
tent with traditional natural bers used in textile production.
Fig. 5. Structure comparison of bamboo bers and bamboo viscose bers.
CP = combined process; BV = bamboo viscose (commercial);
RV = regular viscose (commercial).
A comprehensive study on the surface structure of
bamboo bers demonstrated that bers are well-
rounded in shape and smooth along the length, unlike
viscose bers that are striated. Microscopic analy-
sis also revealed how much the ber surfaces were
cleaned and separated by various processes.
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Amanda J. ompson, Dept. of Clothing, Textiles, &
Interior Design, 306-D Doster Hall, University of Ala-
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