A SUSTAINABLE AND POTENTIAL ALTERNATIVE TO COMMERCIAL HOUSEHOLD UPHOLSTERY: HEMP-COTTON UNION FABRICAnupriya Singh, Manisha Gahlot and Monika Negi
Industrial Hemp, commonly known as Bhang, is an underutilized biomass found in Uttarakhand. This fibre is locally abundant which grows naturally along the roadside which inherently possess some functional properties like it conducts heat, dyes well, resists mildew, blocks ultraviolet light and has natural antibacterial properties. Untreated water retted hemp fibre weft and cotton warp was used to prepare union fabrics in plain, 3/1 twill and zigzag twill on a handloom. Fabric was tested for various properties and compared with Indian and International standards pertaining to plain, tufted and flocked woven upholstery material for interior purposes made from man-made fibres or their blends as no standards exist for testing upholstery fabric made from natural material. The developed hemp cotton union fabric performed well against breaking strength, flammability and pilling resistance tests while resistance to abrasion was satisfactory that could be researched further and improved either by treating the cotton yarns with a suitable resin or substituting the warp yarns with yarns made from other suitable fibres. Stiffness in weft direction of the fabric was found to be quite high due to thick hemp yarns having bending rigidity of 66.3228 mg.cm,140.5040 mg.cm and 53.4583 mg.cm for plain weave fabric, zigzag twill weave fabric and 3/1 twill weave fabric respectively. It was observed that higher crease recovery angle in weft direction was due the stiffness of fabric as it was difficult to crease. The developed fabrics were found have the potential for the development of upholstered interior products.
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