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Description: SISAL HEMP - Sisal hemp is a 60 - 100 cm long fiber from the sword-shaped leaves (leaf fiber) of the approximately 2 m tall sisal agave (Agave sisalana), a member of the lily family (Liliaceae). The sisal plant comes from the native Mexican henequen plant, for which reason Mexican sisal used to be called henequen. These days, it is the generally large East African plantations which are of particular commercial importance. Like Manila hemp, sisal hemp is a hard fiber. The fibers are white to yellowish-white in color, resistant, supple and light-weight. Sisal hemp is only slightly inferior in quality to Manila hemp. The fibers are obtained from the fresh leaves by decorticators, washed and dried in the sun. Decorticators are fully automatic machines, to which the sisal leaves are fed cross-ways on a conveyor belt. They remove the leaf tissue by crushing, scraping and washing. If this procedure is not performed carefully, the fibers become blotchy. The leaf cross-section reveals that the leaves are protected by a wax layer (cuticle) (55% cutin, 20% wax) and the fiber strands are distributed throughout the spongy parenchyma.
Index: 835
Commodity Name: FIBERS

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