Alfa, a variety of esparto grass used mainly in the manufacture of paper, is a long flat leaf which when dried coils itself in the shape of a cylindrical rod, traces of damage to alfa are revealed by carefully unrolling the leaf and presenting it flat. This commodity is liable to heat if heaped up in a badly ventilated humid place. Sound alfa has a characteristic yellow color. Wetting or prolonged stacking has the effect of turning the alfa black, in which case the material may become unsuitable to be treated at paper mills. This kind of damage, if the solidity of the fiber is not affected, has no marked influence upon its value in the textile industries.
Highly inflammable if baled wet. Humidity will affect weight loss or gain.
Esparto consists of the rush-like, smooth, tough, green stalks some 20 - 100 cm in length of various needlegrasses from the western Mediterranean area, such as esparto (Lygeum spartum) and halfa (Stipa tenacissima). It is also traded as esparto grass, Spanish grass, sparto grass and halfa or alfa grass.
- Commodity Name:
ALFA (Halfa Esparto)