Durability and Aesthetic Properties of Kenaf/Cotton Blend Fabrics

Gita N. Ramaswamy, Elizabeth P. Easter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


To evaluate the serviceability of a new textile product made of an unconventional fiber blend, it is important to determine if the fabric meets the specific standards required for the intended end-use. The value-added textile products of interest are fabrics made of 50/50 kenaf/cotton in the filling direction and 100% cotton in the warp direction, made in sateen, plain, twill, and oxford weaves. The control fabrics are of 100% cotton in only the plain and sateen weaves. The fabrics are characterized and compared based on ten of the most common fabric properties that affect their performance in everyday use: thread count, thickness, weight, breaking strength and elongation, dimensional stability, wrinkle recovery, abrasion resistance, tear strength, staining and stain release, and pilling resistance. Breaking strength of the experimental fabrics compares well with the control fabrics. Elongation at break is greater in the warp direction (19–35%) than in the filling direction (11–15%), but this difference is not significant. Wrinkle recovery for both fabrics is the same and improves over time. Shrinkage is identical in both fabrics. There is no significant difference in the stiffness of the two fabrics, possibly due to the carding step where kenaf fibers are carded to resemble cotton fibers. Abrasion and pilling resistance are good to excellent. Tear resistance is lower for the experimental fabrics compared with the controls, but it does pass the requirements for both upholstery and apparel fabrics. Kenaf/cotton blends perform the same or better than 100% cotton in their ability to release water-based stains, but the oil stain rates between 3 and 4, indicating a residual stain. Stain resistance can be improved by applying a soil-resistant finish. This study demonstrates that kenaf/cotton blend fabrics meet or exceed the performance requirements for both apparel (i.e., outer wear items such as barn jackets, hunting vests, overalls, and caps) and upholstery fabrics. Additional advantages of the blend fabrics may be luster, interesting texture, and lightness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)803-808
Number of pages6
JournalTextile Research Journal
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Polymers and Plastics


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