Analysis on the properties of 50:50 Kenaf Cotton blended fabric for home textile applications

Excerpt: This project deals with the development of the Kenaf Cotton blended fabric for home textile applications.


This project deals with the development of the Kenaf Cotton blended fabric for home textile applications. The Kenaf fibres of 1 inch and were blended with cotton in the ratio 50:50. The blended kenaf and cotton fibers were carded and then spun in open end spinning machine to form the Kenaf cotton blended yarn. The yarns were woven in a plain weave structure using a pit loom and the fabric quality was evaluated for elongation, strength, flammability and drapability and was compared to a 100% cotton fabric. The results reveal that the Kenaf cotton blended fabric produced were inferior in strength and drapability but had better fire resistance and elongation when compared 100% cotton fabric. Due to this good fire resistance and minimal drapability these fabrics are best suited for home textile applications.


Natural fibers are available in abundance throughout the world but are not properly utilized. Some of the natural fibers include kenaf, jute, hemp, banana, bamboo, cotton, flax, water hyacinth, coir etc1. These fibers are completely degradable, renewable and eco-friendly1. Kenaf, a natural fibre also known Hibiscus Cannabinus L, belongs to the family Malvaceae and class Eudicots2. It has good natural antimicrobial properties, fire resistant properties and good absorbency which can be utilized in various textile fields3,4. It can be a substitute for synthetic fibers because of its low density and high specific strength5. Various research on Kenaf fiber includes retting of Kenaf fibre, carding process, chemical behaviour on kenaf fibre, and blending kenaf with cotton for apparel applications6,7,8,9. Blended yarn fabrics have better properties than single yarn fabrics because the properties of both the fibres are blended10. It is not affected by humidity and has excellent sound insulation, fire resistance and thermal insulation properties11.

Materials and methods

Kenaf fibre(extracted from bast of Kenaf plant), cotton fibre (purchased from local market).

Kenaf blended with cotton

Kenaf fibres were extracted from the bark and were cut in 1 inch and were blended with cotton in the length of 30mm in the ratio of 50:50 from which kenaf cotton blended yarn and fabric was made. This blended yarn and fabric was also compared to 100% Cotton yarn and fabric. The blended fibers were carded in a miniature carding machine in three stages- breaker card, inter card, and finisher card and blended slivers were produced. These slivers were spun on a miniature rotor spinning machine at rotor speed 3000rpm, open roller speed 1100 rpm and twist 37 TPI. The 50 Kenaf cotton yarn was produced in 12s count.

Preparation of the fabrics

The Kenaf cotton yarns were woven in a pit loom of width 24 inches. The blended yarns were used in both the warp and weft direction. They were woven in a plain weave structure using the principle one up one down. The ends were found to be 24 and picks per inch were found to be 26.

Cross sectional view of Kenaf fiber

Characterization of Kenaf and cotton fibres

FTIR test was taken for kenaf fiber in order to know the chemical compounds present in the fiber. The results were recorded in the range of 4000 cm-1 to 650 cm-1. The graph was plotted against %T and cm-1.

Chemical composition of fibers

The chemical compositions of Kenaf and cotton fibers are discussed below13. Due to the presence of lignin content at a greater level fire resistance of the kenaf fiber is higher than cotton fiber14.

Determination of yarn quality

Yarns produced had less strength than the cotton yarn but the elongation was good. Hairiness was more in blended yarn

Determination of fabric quality

The Kenaf cotton fabric was woven in a pit loom at ends per inch being 24 and the picks per inch or being 26. The fabric was evaluated for the GSM, Thickness, drapability, fabric strength, elongation and flammability.

Table 2 represents the fabric GSM, Thickness, Drapability, Fabric Strength, Elongation and Flammability.

Results and discussion

Kenaf cotton yarns were successfully produced and were compared to the cotton yarns as per the Sitra norms. The kenaf cotton blended yarns had very low strength and elongation of the yarn was good. In the blended fabric strength and drapability of the fabric was inferior to cotton fabric but the elongation and the flammability of the fabric was good. These were analyzed using ANOVA analysis and significant differences were observed between the samples.


Thus kenaf cotton blended yarns and fabrics were successfully produced. The Kenaf cotton blended yarns were not superior to 100% cotton yarns yet these yarns have various other attributes in terms of functional and appearance. The fabrics produced from kenaf cotton blended yarns were inferior in strength and drapability but were superior in elongation and flammability of the fabric. Further research on softening of the kenaf fibers may contribute to the improvement in quality of this kenaf cotton yarn for textile applications. These fabrics because of its good fire resistance and nominal drapability are best suited for home textiles such as aprons, kitchen wear, curtains, sofa covers etc… and application of these fibers into textiles will increase the cultivation of kenaf plant and will also add value to the crop.


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Author Details

Niveda R1, Gowtham S2, Dr. G Ramakrishnan3

Kumaraguru College of Technology, Coimbatore