Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Allure of pineapple

Alluring dresses from pineapple? Scientists in Malaysia are looking into the potential of another ‘cotton’ – the pineapple. Jamil Salleh of UiTM, Shah Alam, Malaysia is to asses techniques to extract the long fibres of the pineapple leaves.

Lanky models strutting in cotton, linen and silk, making statement for beautiful creations - why not make statement with a ‘pineapple’? Alluring dresses from pineapple? It could be. Often we heard mothers reminiscing their hard times during the Japanese occupation sewing with threads from pineapple leaves. If so, can we spin yarn from pineapple leaves threads then? After all, we have been relying on plants for clothings – the cotton. Now scientists in Malaysia are looking into the potential of another ‘cotton’ – the pineapple.

Jamil Salleh’s study is timely as we have scores of pineapple plantations with tonnes of leaves burnt away. There has been not much interest in pineapple fibres in our country. Hence, he is optimist that abundantly pineapple fibres in Malaysia, if extracted, can be marketed as ‘exotic’ textile. A good news for fashion designers Zang Toi or Bernard Chandran? For them it could be a work of mix and match for another charming creation. A good understanding of the extraction methods will be good for them. Thus Jamil will try to establish the best extraction to get the best of the fibres.

Jamil will experiment on the long fibres of the leaves by scrapping and retting. It is a preliminary study to assess the best technique to extract the fibres from the leaves. Scrapping is a traditional method where the epidermal tissue of the leaves is scrapped from the surface and back of the leaves using broken plate or coconut shell to expose the fibres. As much as 500 leaves can be scrapped in a day by an expert scrapper. It is tedious, time consuming and labor intensive. After scrapping, the fibres will be washed thoroughly with water and then air-dried.

Apart from scrapping, the fibre can also be extracted by retting. Retting is the use of micro organism and moisture to dissolve or rot away the epidermal tissue and pectine of the leaves, which will separate the fibre from the leaves. There are many types of water retting such as still water, running water and dew and rain retting. These methods are slow and consumes time, hence less popular. However, around 2.5 - 3.5% of fibre can be recovered from both methods.

Other than that, Jamil and collegues are looking into chemical retting under alkaline condition and microbes as they have been used to extract other fibres such as flax and kenaf. It was found that fibers produced from microbe retting are with higher residual gum content and lower elongation but better tenacity and softness. Other other hand, chemical retting produces lower tenacity and thicker fibre; and water retting produces weak and low quality fibre.

The fibres will be extracted from pineapple leaves by scrapping and retting method. To scrape, porcelain scrap will be used to remove the epidermal tissue of the leaves. For retting, four methods will be employed which are immersion in water for certain duration, use of NaOH/acetic acid and EDTA, use of enzyme (xylanase/pectinase/cellulase), and combination of chemical and enzyme retting. Other mechanical extraction methods using special fabricated equipment will also be experimented.

The strength of the extracted fibres will be evaluated using tests of linear density, tenacity, microscopic appearance, micronaire and fibre strength. Then, the fibres will be hand-spun into yarn or dref spinning. The spun yarn then will be tested for its physical properties such as linear density (count), single strength, yarn appearance and hairiness. A comparison fibre and yarn properties with regards to the extraction techniques employed will be evaluated to determine the best fibre extraction technique.


Jamil Salleh
Wan Yunus Wan Ahmad
Mohd Rozi Ahmad
Mohd. Iqbal Misnon
Department of Textile Technology, Faculty of Applied Sciences
UniversityTeknologi MARA
Shah Alam

Megawati Omar | Research asia research news
Further information:

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht From ancient fossils to future cars
21.10.2016 | University of California - Riverside

nachricht Study explains strength gap between graphene, carbon fiber
20.10.2016 | Rice University

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

First-time reconstruction of infectious bat influenza viruses

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Novel method to benchmark and improve the performance of protein measumeasurement techniques

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Amazon rain helps make more rain

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>