Accepted 8th May, 2014
In this work, the structure and characterization of false banana fibers (FBF) modified by physico-chemical treatment were studied. One of the components of the research was to develop a process for softening false banana fiber or yarn for the production of diversified FBF products like sack, mat or carpets with a supple feel and improved texture on an industrial scale. Some important physico-chemical properties of these fibers changed due to chemical and biochemical treatments adapted in the research. The physico-chemical changes due to the treatments include changes in percentage weight loss, moisture content/regain, tensile strength, fineness, bending and torsional rigidity of the fibers, which were studied in relation to process performance in FBF yarn manufacturing. Results showed that treated FBF had good flexibility, supple feel, and excellent moisture regain and were finer than untreated FBF. Also treated FBF were a low cost alternative to imported jutes and sisal in Ethiopian sack manufacturing industry.
Keywords: FBF, physico-chemical, process performance, low cost