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Ramie fibre

it grows in china, Egypt, Australia, Philippines, Russia, France, Italy, Spain, and west Indies. Warm climate with well distributed abundant rainfall through the year id ideal for ramie cultivation. it is planted before monsoon (April-May), other season is sep-oct in which frequent irrigation is required. ramie stalk reaches a height of 5-7 feet depending upon soil and climate conditions. 2- 4 cuttings are obtained form same plant in a year. Ramie fibre is obtained form the bark of the stem. fibers are separated from green stems either by manual or mechanical methods. Decorations does not separated waxes from fibres. Degumming is done to make fibres soft and clean. The crude fibres are boiled with sodium hydroxide and soap solution, then washed ad dried. Bacteriological degumming is carried out in vats containing bacterial water which attack waxes and gum leaving cellulose unaffected. This method require time and care to produce longer fibres free from entanglements.

Structure of ramie fibre

Ramie are silky white and lustrous in appearance. Fully degummed fibre contains 96.9 % cellulose and traces of lignin. In longitudinal view ramie fibre appear flattened and irregular. Fibre length is 140-160 mm, length to width ration is 2500:150mm.

It is a high strength fibre with low elongation. Ramie has good hygroscopic nature; moisture absorption is about 6-8 %. it is a strong fibre and can be separated to the fineness of silk. It has exceptional resistance to micro-organism. It is mildly effected by dilute hot alkalis. Boiling with dilute mineral acids lead to hydrolysis of cellulose. Cold conc. mineral acids have mercerizing effect similar to sodium hydroxide.