Prospects for Kenaf Textiles Production in Nigeria

Ibrahim H. D., Ogunwusi A. A.


Textile fibres are the predominant fibres used for textiles production in Nigeria since the 1960’s. However, the number of textiles industries in the country has reduced drastically as a result of drastic reduction in cotton production, old and absolute technology predominant in the sector and lack of basic infrastructures.  Efforts to increase cotton production have not met with adequate success despite the development of improved long fibre varieties.  To increase textiles production, textile experts have been studying the properties of Kenaf bast fibres for textiles production.  The research on Kenaf fibres are being programmed to include softening of Kenaf fibres, characterisation of woven fabrics, production of non-woven fabrics and development of products such as furniture underlays, carpet backing and wall covering.  To boost production, there is increasing interest in natural fibre composites utilisation in the textiles sector globally in view of their potentials to replace synthetic fibres and their sustainability.  Experts are increasingly concentrating on Kenaf/cotton fibres utilisation.  Several studies indicated that mercerisation drastically improved softness of hand for both fabrics industry.  Blending cotton fibres with kenaf with proper treatment results in higher value end products, making kenaf a viable textile fashion fibre.  The sustainable development of Kenaf/cotton textiles will impact significantly on the textiles industry in Nigeria in view of the huge potentials the nation has in Kenaf production.

Keywords:  Bast fibre, Kenaf, cotton, mercerisation, alkali treatment, degumming.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3186 ISSN (Online)2225-0921

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