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Academic year: 2021



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Examensarbete - Kandidat Textil produktutveckling och entreprenörskap

Karin Essén

Liv Walker


Svensk titel:​ Applicerbarhet av naturliga fibrer i industriella rengöringsdukar

-​ i aspekterna av tillverkningsprocess och hållbarhet

Engelsk titel:​ The applicability of agricultural fibres in industrial cleaning cloths

- ​in the aspects of processability and sustainability

Utgivningsår:​ 2020



This study has its background in the EU directive, the ‘Single-Use Plastics Directive’. The directive was initiated due to the environmental impacts that the oceans suffer due to plastic waste. The directive presents the most common single-use products found as waste in the oceans, including wipes and cloths. In collaboration with Essity, a global hygiene and health company, this study aims to find a replacement fibre for the currently used polyester fibre in Essity’s industrial cleaning cloths. To this end, we have evaluated the applicability of an agricultural fibre in the aspects of processability and sustainability. A theoretical part including a literature study of agricultural fibres is combined with a practical experimental part to evaluate a manufactured prototype. The theoretical part includes a compilation of the relevant parameters per fibre and the experimental part consists of laboratory tests and a panel test. On this basis, it was concluded that the first agricultural fibre, hemp, did not function adequately in the process due to the variations in fibre length and coarseness. A solution to this problem may be pre-treatments of the fibres. The second fibre, flax,

functioned well in the process and may then be considered applicable in the aspect of process. The applicability of an agricultural fibre is possible in industrial cleaning cloths, but the geographical location of cultivation, transport, the chemicals used and irrigation should also be taken into account in the aspects of sustainability.

Keywords:​ Nonwoven, Industrial cleaning cloth, Agricultural fibres, Bast fibres, Polyester,



Bakgrunden till denna studie är EU-direktivet, ‘Single-Use Plastics Directive’. Direktivet har sitt ursprung i de miljöproblem som våra hav lider av på grund av nedskräpningen med plastavfall. Direktivet redovisar de engångsartiklar som återfinns allra mest i haven idag, däribland rengöringsdukar. På förekommen anledningen ska därför denna studie i samarbete med Essity, ett globalt hygien- och hälsoföretag, undersöka möjligheten att ersätta den befintliga polyesterfibern i deras industriella rengöringsdukar. Studien har utvärderat möjligheten att använda en naturlig fiber med avseende på tillverkningsprocess och

hållbarhet. För att möjliggöra en utvärdering av en tillverkad prototyp, så har en teoretisk del med en litteraturstudie i kombination med en praktisk experimentell del genomförts. Den teoretiska delen består av en sammanställning av relevanta parametrar för varje fiber och den experimentella delen består av laboratorietester och ett paneltest. Slutsatserna från ett första försök var att hampafibrer inte fungerade i processen på grund av variationer i hampans fiberlängd och grovlek. Att göra en förbehandling skulle kunna vara lösningen. I det andra försöket med linfibrer, visade det sig att linfibrer fungerar i processen och därför kan vara applicerbar med avseende på tillverkningsprocess. En naturlig fiber kan användas i industriella rengöringsdukar, ur ett hållbarhetsperspektiv är det viktigt att beakta den geografiska platsen för odling, transporter, användning av kemikalier och konstbevattning.

Nyckelord:​ Nonwoven, Industriella rengöringsdukar, Naturliga fibrer, Bastfibrer, Polyester,



This Bachelor's thesis is the closing part of the program Textile Product Development and Entrepreneurship, 180 credits, at the Swedish School of Textiles in Borås.

We wish to express our sincere gratitude to our supervisor Joraine Rössler, Material

Specialist Nonwoven at Essity and to our supervisor Stig Nilsson, Lecturer and Collaboration coordinator at The Swedish School of Textiles for their knowledge and support throughout the work with this study. Furthermore, we would like to thank the staff involved at Essity for important professional knowledge and advice in progressing the study and our classmates for guidance.




CD​ - Cross direction.

Cottonizing ​-​ ​The process of cutting flax, hemp and other fibres into shorter fibres to

facilitate blending with cotton or processing on equipment designed for cotton.

Decortication​ - Removal of stem.

Degumming​ - Removal of wax and pectin in an alkaline solution.

Fibre yield ​-​ ​The quantity of fibres achieved after extracting fibres from the plant. Hydroentanglement ​- Bonding process with high-pressure water jets.

Irrigation​ -​ ​Complementary supply of water to land or crops to aid growth, typically by

means of channels.

MD ​- Machine direction.

Opening-roller ​- Machine for reducing the size of fibres, separation of fibres and cleansing

fibres from residual parts.

Perennial ​- Plants living for more than two years or indefinitely. Stdev ​- Standard deviation.

Steam explosion​ - Steam is used to separate the fibres from the woody stem with heat and

water under pressure. The process shortens the staple length and reduces its strength.

Wet strength agent ​- An additive used in the production process to enhance certain

properties, for example wet strength.

Xerophytic​ - Plants that adapt to the environment to survive.


Table of content

Abstract 2 Sammanfattning 3 Preface 4 Glossary 5 Table of content 6

Table and Figure list 8

1 Introduction 9

1.1 Background 9

1.2 The foundational problem 10

1.2.1 Plastics and their impact on the environment 10

1.2.2 Environmental issues in fibre production 10

2 Purpose 11

3 Research questions 11

4 Delimitations 12

5 Method and material 12

5.1 Literature study 12

5.2 Prototype 13

5.2.1 Content and process 13

5.3 Laboratory tests according to standards 13

5.3.1 Dry tensile strength: 14-104 and Wet tensile strength: 14-150 14

5.3.3 Absorption: 15-101 15

5.4 Panel test 16

5.4.1 Selection 16

6 Theoretical framework 16

6.1 Current industrial cleaning cloths 16

6.2 Polyester as a fibre in current industrial cleaning cloths 17

6.3 Agricultural fibres 17

6.3.1 Cotton 18

6.3.2 Flax 18

6.3.3 Jute 19


6.3.5 Hemp 19

6.3.6 Sisal 20

6.4 Compilation of relevant parameters per fibre 21

6.5 Processing of agricultural fibres for nonwovens 22

7 Result 22

7.1 Literature study 22

7.2 Prototype 23

7.3 Laboratory test 24

7.3.1 Dry tensile strength: 14-104 24

7.3.2 Wet tensile strength: 14-150 25

7.3.3 Absorption: 15-101 26

7.4 Panel test 27

8 Discussion 31

8.1 Process applicability of an agricultural fibre 31

8.2 Sustainability aspects of fibre selection 33

8.3 Other discoveries regarding the results 34

8.4 Method discussion 34

9 Conclusion 35

9.1 Further research 36

10 Evaluation of the study 36

10.1 Relevance 36 10.2 Reliability 37 10.3 Validity 37 10.4 Ethics 37 10.5 Sustainability 37 List of references 38

Annex 1: Individual Value Plot 41

Annex 2: Individual test results for Absorption 44


Table and Figure list


1 Introduction

Future regulation may require that the contents of single-use products contain no fibres classified as plastic fibres, as a result of the European Union’s recently adopted ‘Single-Use Plastics Directive’(​Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council 2019/904/EU of 5th of June 2019 on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the

environment​). This study aims to investigate agricultural fibres as an alternative to the currently used plastic fibres in industrial cleaning cloths from a process and sustainability perspective, as a preparatory action if new regulations are introduced. This study is a collaboration with Essity, a global hygiene and health company. The new fibre should fulfil the requirements needed for the industrial cleaning cloths. The quality and test results of the new product may not be exactly the same as the currently used product, but still provide a product that can fulfill the functions of its main purposes. This study can provide useful knowledge for subsequent studies in the same area. By replacing the polyester with an

agricultural fibre, the use of chemicals and plastic fibres could be reduced and therefore result in a more sustainable product.

1.1 Background

With the aim to reduce ​the impact of certain plastic products on the environment, in particular the marine environment, the​ ‘Single-Use Plastics Directive’ was adopted in 2019, following a proposal from the Commission (Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council 2019/904/EU of 5th of June 2019 on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment)​.​ Plastics in the oceans amount to 80-85% of all waste in the oceans,

measured by counting waste on beaches. This has led to plastic waste now being found in many species that live in and around the sea. In addition, the waste in the seas harms the tourism, fishing and shipping industries.

The directive concentrates mainly on macro-plastics, such as single-use products and fishing gears. Single-use products is defined as products intended to be used once or for a short period. Furthermore, the directive is a part of the larger project towards a circular plastic economy. In this way, it aims to find new innovative solutions for businesses and alternatives to the currently used materials. Economic opportunities are expected to occur as a result of the work to establish a circular economy. With new business models, new jobs will be created. The development of technical and scientific empirics will also strengthen the competitiveness of the single-use product industry.


- New restrictions on the free availability of plastic products in the market, - Reduction goals in general for single-use products,

- Awareness measures and extended producer responsibility, - Requirements for labelling regarding handling after use, - Design-related actions.

1.2 The foundational problem

1.2.1 Plastics and their impact on the environment

Fifteen thousand billion plastic particles are believed to be flushed into the oceans every year, from Swedish wastewater treatment plants alone. Litter on the mainland is carried by wind and rain into the oceans. Fibres from synthetics, packaging, straws and bottles are examples of plastics found in the oceans. Animals are injured by plastic packaging and ingest plastic particles, which results in drowning, suffocation or internal injuries. Further, plastics will slowly break down into small pieces, microplastics, which can be mistaken for plankton and thereby ingested as food by marine species.

Plastic is a good and cheap material with many excellent properties. The problem today is that it is more or less omnipresent (Naturskyddsföreningen [the

​Swedish Society for Nature

Conservation], 2017). Plastic litter affects global warming and increases the problems of pollution (Kale, Deshmukh, Dudhare & Patil 2015). Thus, it is important to minimize the use of plastic in products where it can be replaced by a more sustainable material. To use plastics that can be recycled or reused is also of great importance, instead of products that are

disposed of as waste or incinerated immediately after use, thus contributing to the negative climate impact (Naturskyddsföreningen 2017). In order for plastics in products to be

acceptable, they should be part of a circular economy. This means that all plastics produced must be used for the longest possible time, be reused or recycled. The purpose is to minimize the wear and tear on the earth's resources (Selander 2019). Industries and governments need to ensure more sustainable use of plastic. At the same time, there is also a major

responsibility for the individual as the end user of the products, who has to interact with and manage the waste properly. Changes in consumer behaviour are therefore of importance. Plastics can be replaced by other materials (​Dilkes-Hoffman, Pratt, Laycock, Ashworth & Lant​ 2019).

1.2.2 Environmental issues in fibre production


and the chemicals used. The production of 1 kg of polyester requires twice the amount of energy compared with the cultivation of 1 kg of cotton. On the other hand, cultivation of 1 kg of cotton requires 3800 litres of water compared with 17 litres to manufacture 1 kg of


The above comparison shows that sustainability challenges exist, irrespective of the chosen types of fibre. An evaluation of the resources used (water, energy and land) and of the resulting waste and pollution (to the air, water and land) is an important step in the

development of fibre to be used and produced. The greatest environmental impacts in fibre production phases are:

- The amounts of water and pesticides used in cotton production,

- Harmful emissions to the air and water in the production of synthetic and cellulosic fibres,

- Negative effects on watercourses from the production of natural fibres, - Considerable use of energy and of non-renewable resources.

In addition, social and ethical problems need to be considered, as well as new scientific research (Fletcher 2014, pp.11).

2 Purpose

The purpose of this study is to find a replacement fibre to the currently used polyester fibre for industrial cleaning cloths. This is implemented by trying to find an agricultural fibre that can be applied instead of the polyester fibre in the aspects of processability and sustainability.

3 Research questions

1. How can an agricultural fibre be applicable in the same process as the one currently used for polyester in the production of industrial cleaning cloths?

1.1 Will the physical structure of an agricultural fibre be applicable in the process? 1.2 Are the requirements regarding quality fulfilled in the prototype with an

agricultural fibre?


4 Delimitations

In this study, only agricultural fibres will be examined as alternatives. Regenerated fibres will be excluded as alternatives, since this category of fibres has already been investigated by Essity.

We will not examine and evaluate, all the different components in the industrial cleaning cloths. Components not included in the study of the industrial cleaning cloths are

polypropylene, wet strength agent and pulp.

The theoretical framework will not present any detailed information about specific chemicals used in the processes for different fibres.

The cost aspects will not be evaluated in this study.

5 Method and material

This is an experimental study where ​the method for carrying out the experiment is described and the results thereof is observed and analysed.​ The result will be tested to verify the applicability of the theory (Forskningpågår.se 2020). The quantitative method, where the experimental study is included, suggests that the researcher collects measurable facts, which are then summed up for statistical analysis and comparison with a starting point in testable theories (Nationalencyklopedin n.d.a). The method is inductively designed. It means that the study starts with theoretical material. The compilation of theoretical material takes place and creates hypotheses, which are then tested (Holme och Solvang 1997).

5.1 Literature study

The study will include a theoretical part, where a review of the available literature will be of utmost importance. Based on the literature study, a suitable agriculture fibre will be identified and selected. Meetings with relevant stakeholders will be a part of collecting relevant

knowledge in the area.

A selection of agricultural fibres has been made, based on prior available research, a

comparison of different types of bast, seed and leaf fibres, and the personal experience of the authors. This study will examine cotton, jute, flax, ramie, hemp and sisal as possible


availability and sustainability of the fibres, one or more will hopefully prove suitable for use in industrial cleaning cloths.

Previous research, course literature and scientific articles have been used to create a summary for each selected fibre. From this, a table has been compiled to compare the properties and suitability of fibres to be used in the product.

5.2 Prototype

A fibre selected on the basis of the literature study will be used to create a prototype of the industrial cleaning cloth. The prototype and a reference sample will be manufactured in Essity’s laboratory by internal laboratory employees. The reference and prototype samples will be evaluated. The processability of an agricultural fibre can then be observed and

evaluated, followed by laboratory tests according to Essity’s internal standards. The reference and prototype samples will be manufactured in the same machine and at the same date to ensure equal conditions in order to make a valid comparison. Note that the current product and those of the prototype/reference samples do not have the exact same content, due to slight differences in the machines of the manufacturing of factory-made products and prototypes. The samples are made in a prototype wetlaid machine. A recipe with the different

components included in the cloths is used in order to achieve the right content, see Table 1. Firstly pulp is disintegrated with water and a wet strength agent. Staple fibres are added after being separated with compressed air, in this case, a polyester fibre for the reference sample and an agricultural fibre for the prototype. The mix is placed on a wire for hydroentanglement at a pressure of 80 bar x 6 times, see Table 1.

5.2.1 Content and process

Table 1​. ​Content and process for the reference and prototype samples

Product Content in % Process

Reference sample (A) 60% Pulp, 20% lyocell, 20% polyester 80 bar x 6 times Prototype sample (B) 60% Pulp, 20% lyocell, 20% agricultural fibre 80 bar x 6 times

5.3 Laboratory tests according to standards


5.3.1 Dry tensile strength: 14-104 and Wet tensile strength: 14-150

Standard 14-104 and 14-150 are based on EDANA’s and INDA’s Nonwovens standard procedures: NWSP 110.4.R0 (15) Breaking Force and Elongation of Nonwoven Materials (strip method). This test will determine breaking force and elongation. The option B procedure is used throughout this test, both for wet and dry tensile strength. The test

specimens should be cut in 50 +/- 0,5 mm wide strips. The international standards included in the NWSP 110.4.R0 (15) are ISO 139 Textiles - Standard atmospheres for conditioning and testing, ISO 2859-1 Sampling procedures for inspection by attributes, and ISO 3951-1 Sampling procedures for inspection by variables. The tensile testing machine must include force indication, working range, capacity and elongation indication and be designed for operation at a speed of 100 mm/min. The distance between clamps should be set at 200 +/- 1 mm. Specimens should be centrally located and the long dimension should be as parallel as possible to the direction of force application. It should be ensured that the tension on the specimen is uniform across the clamped width.

Dry test procedure

A test specimen is clamped in a tensile testing machine and a force is applied to the specimen until it breaks. Values for the breaking force and elongation of the test specimen are obtained from machine scales, dials, autographic recording charts, or a computer interface.

Wet test procedure

Specimens to be tested under wet conditions shall be immersed in distilled water at room temperature until thoroughly wetted. To thoroughly wet a specimen, it may be necessary to add not more than 0,05% of a nonionic wetting agent to the water. The test of any specimen shall be completed within two minutes after its removal from the water (NWSP 2015). The test is included in the study to compare the strength of the reference sample with the prototype sample in dry condition and wet condition. This is because the strength of the cloth is of great importance. See Table 2 for a compilation of the size of the test specimens and the extent of the test.

Table 2.​ Extent of the test in dry and wet tensile strength

Product Type of test Size MD CD

Reference sample (A) Dry 50x100 mm 8 spec 8 spec

Wet 50x100 mm 8 spec 8 spec

Prototype sample (B) Dry 50x100 mm 8 spec 8 spec


5.3.3 Absorption: 15-101

Standard 15-101 is based on EDANA’s and INDA’s Nonwovens standard procedures, NWSP 010.1.R0 (20) Three Standard Test Methods for Nonwoven Absorption. The procedure in option b), the liquid absorptive capacity, is used for this method. The method provides a measure of the amount of liquid held within a test specimen after specified times of

immersion and drainage vertically. For practical reasons, the drainage time is quite short. The International standards included in NWSP 010.1.R0 (20) are ISO 9073-6 Textiles - Test methods for nonwovens, ISO 5725-1 Accuracy (trueness and precision) of measurement methods and results, ISO 5725-2 Accuracy (trueness and precision) of measurement methods and results, ISO 139 Textiles - Standard atmospheres for conditioning and testing, ISO 3951-5 Samples procedure Samples procedures for inspection by variables and ISO 565 Test sieves.

Procedure for the liquid absorptive capacity

Test specimens should be cut in pieces of 100 +/- 1 mm x 100 +/- 1 mm. The liquid shall be left long enough to equilibrate with the conditioned atmosphere. Weigh the test specimen. Place the test specimen on the stainless-steel gauze and fasten it at the edges with the clips. Place the gauze with the attached specimen approximately 20 mm below the liquid surface in the dish and start the stopwatch. After 60 +/- 1 s, remove the gauze with the test specimen from the dish and remove all the clips but one. Hang freely vertically to drain for 120 +/- 3 s. Remove the test specimen from the gauze without squeezing the liquid from it, weigh the specimen. Use fresh conditioned test liquid for each set of 5 test specimens. Calculate the absorption with the formula: Absorption = (Mv​ - Mt) / Mt ​= g/g. Where: Mv​ = weight of the

wet sample and Mt​ = weight of the dry sample (NWSP 2020).

This test measures how many grams of water the sample holds per gram of sample. The test is included to ensure that the prototype sample has the equivalent absorbance capacity to the existing reference sample. This is of great importance for cleaning cloths because of their intended purpose. See Table 3 for a compilation with the size of test specimens and the extent of the test.

Table 3.​ Extent of the test in absorption

Product Size MD in diagonal

Reference sample (A) 100x100 mm 10 spec


5.4 Panel test

A panel test will be conducted to get an understanding of how the prototype sample works in comparison with the reference sample when used in practice. This test will also provide a first impression of the appearance and feel of the prototype sample in relation to the reference sample. The panel test is about comparing the two materials. The participants will be asked to evaluate the reference and prototype samples in a survey with both open questions and scale questions. How the samples are experienced will be evaluated from the results of the panel test which aims to give a broader view of how the selected fibre works in an industrial cleaning cloth.

The answers will be taken into consideration when evaluating the prototype sample and comparing it with the reference sample. The panel test will strengthen the results of the literature study and the laboratory tests, when taking the users perspective into account. If the result fails to meet the expectations, further research and modifications of the prototype sample may be needed. See the survey for the panel test in Annex 2.

5.4.1 Selection

Twelverespondents will be invited to participate. Their gender and background will not be controlled for in this test, due to the small number of participants. The participants will consist of volunteers within the company. The participants will not be involved with the development of the product in question. ​The participants will not be informed of the specifics of the product, such as the name of the product, or in which profession it might be used.

6 Theoretical framework

6.1 Current industrial cleaning cloths

The construction of the industrial cleaning cloth consists of three parts to make the nonwoven cloth that this study refers to:

1. Spunlaid with polypropylen filament.

2. Wetlaid with wood pulp and polyester, additive: wet strength agent. 3. Spunlace achieved with hydroentanglement as binding.

The polyester fibre that is aimed to be exchanged has a fibre length of 6 mm and a cross-sectional diameter of 1,7 dtex . 1


The materials included in the industrial cleaning cloth are approximately: 70% pulp, 20% polypropylene, 10% polyester and 0,2% wet strength agent. The current cloth is made in four different grammages to ensure that the cloth can be used in different contexts. Production of the industrial cleaning cloth is located in the Netherlands . 2

The application area for the industrial cleaning cloth is derived by the customer demands, from how they use the cloth professionally. The cloth is used in a variety of industries, such as caterers/large kitchens and the automotive industry. This means that the cloth will be used for different applications in maintenance and cleaning, for example: wiping up large liquid spills and leaks, wiping and cleaning work surfaces, lubrication, waxing/polishing, cleaning of parts and tools as well as interiors.

Based on current industrial cleaning cloths, the following characteristics and requirements will form the basis for the evaluation of a new product.

- Absorption of water, oils, fluids and grease, - Strength in both wet and dry condition, - Ability to clean with solvents,

- Limited amount of linting (Essity 2019).

6.2 Polyester as a fibre in current industrial cleaning cloths

As one of the most common fibres, polyester is used in many different areas, including as a component in Essity’s industrial cleaning cloths. Polyester fibres are manufactured from petroleum. Petroleum is a finite resource and as such will have a continuously rising cost until it runs out, disregarding occasional conjunctural anomalies. The ecological and social costs of oil recovery are also considerable, as well as the need for a well-functioning infrastructure (Fletcher 2014, pp.16-17). The advantages of the polyester fibre include its resilience in wet and dry conditions, good dimensional stability, durability and

abrasion-resistance. The fact that the cross-section and length can be changed easily in the manufacturing process allows adaptation of the fibre as needed, which offers great benefits and flexibility. Polyester generally has high elongation and poor absorbance, however this differs depending on the type of polyester (Kadolph 2014, pp. 164-166).

6.3 Agricultural fibres


potentially more sustainable alternative to various man-made fibres. Despite the increased use of agricultural fibres, man-made fibres dominate the market. Agricultural fibres offer benefits in their natural form and are often seen as an ecological alternative. Despite this, they have disadvantages in their sometimes undesired physical characteristics, their dependence on weather and location for their quality and their low resistance to pests and microbial attacks (Hýsek, Wimmer & Böhm 2016). Previous research about agricultural fibres has been compiled and is presented below.

6.3.1 Cotton

Cotton is a seed fibre and its structure has a natural twist, which affects the fibre’s elastic recovery. The shortest cotton fibres are called linters and are not used in yarn spinning. Cotton has some desirable properties, for example excellent absorbency and a soft feel and is 30 percent stronger when wet. The problematic properties of cotton are the need for

irrigation, pesticides and fertilizers when cultivated in a conventional way and soil erosion will occur. While this can be managed with crop rotation or the use of genetically modified (GM) cotton that reduces the need for pesticides, there are still concerns regarding the unknown long-term effects of GM cotton (Kadolph 2014, pp. 58-63). Cotton crops require large amounts of water, fertilizers and pesticides that subsequently contaminate the water from the cotton fields (World Wildlife Fund (WWF) 2020). Cotton is grown in climates ranging from temperate to hot and is mainly grown in Brazil, China, India, Pakistan and the US (Kadolph 2014, pp. 58-63). Cotton accounts for approximately half of all textiles produced world-wide (WWF 2020).

6.3.2 Flax

Flax is a bast fibre cultivated in Belgium, France, Italy, Ireland, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Russia, Belarus and New Zealand (Kadolph 2014, pp. 69). Flax fibres are extracted by a retting process, followed by a scutching and hackling process. The retting process can be performed with water, dew, chemicals or enzymes to moisten or soak the stalks. This removes some of the binding substances, such as pectin. The woody stem can then be removed by a scutching process, where the outer stalks are crushed when passed between fluted metal rollers. The hackling process then arranges the fibres by combing, which also removes the short and irregular fibres (Salmon-Minotter & Frank 2005).


6.3.3 Jute

Jute is a bast fibre cultivated in India, Bangladesh, China, Myanmar, Nepal and Thailand (Krishnani, Doraiswamy & Chellamani 2005). The primary fibres are short and brittle, making jute one of the weakest of the natural cellulosic fibres (Kadolph 2014, pp.74). Jute can be harvested every 120 days and is a rain-fed crop with little need for fertilizers and pesticides. Jute is 100% biodegradable and recyclable (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 2020). It is suggested that jute is cultivated on land unsuitable for food production, to help re-cultivate and extract pollutants like heavy metals (Fletcher 2014, pp.16). The process of extracting the fibres resembles the process for other bast fibres. First, a retting process with water is carried out, followed by decortication of the stem to reveal the fibres. The retting process can be made with chemicals or biologically. Jute has good

insulating and antistatic properties, low thermal conductivity and moderate moisture retention (FAO 2020). The most common application for jute is packaging products, although the market has decreased due to the use of plastic packaging (Subhankar 2016).

6.3.4 Ramie

Ramie is a bast fiber mainly cultivated in China; hence, also called China grass (Kozlowski, Rawluk & Barriga-Bedoya 2005). Ramie is produced in China, Brazil, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and India (Kadolph 2014, pp. 72). The ramie plant is perennial and therefore cut and not pulled. As it is fast-growing it can be harvested as frequently as every 60 days. The cultivation of ramie requires very well-drained soil but it will grow in almost any kind of soil, although best in warm, sandy soil. It is a greedy plant that can quickly deplete the soil (Kozlowski, Rawluk & Barriga-Bedoya 2005). To ensure the best harvest, ramie requires a high temperature, a moist atmosphere and evenly distributed rainfall throughout the year (Jose, Rajna & Ghosh 2016). The fibres are separated from the woody stem by decortication. The ramie fibres are then degummed by boiling in a weak alkaline solution to remove the wax and pectin to separate the fibre bundles (Kadolph 2014, pp. 72). Most of the ramie is retained and used where it is cultivated, and there is no major

international market (Jose, Rajna & Ghosh 2016).

Ramie fibres resemble the flax fibre in terms of absorbency, density and structure. The molecular structure is also similar to that of flax, making the fibres stiff and brittle (Kadolph 2014, pp. 72). Ramie can be used in different types of products, such as clothes, carpets, fishnets, papers and other textiles (Jose, Rajna & Ghosh 2016).

6.3.5 Hemp


can be grown to extract certain pollutants from the soil, thereby contributing to the wellbeing of the soil. Hemp cultivation does not require the addition of fertilizers and pesticides

(Kadolph 2014, pp. 72-73). The need for irrigation varies, depending on the climate of the cultivated location and the desired cultivation yield (Pejić et al. 2018). Hemp is processed by retting or steam explosion to separate the fibres from the woody stem. The fibres can be produced in an organic manner depending on the chemicals used, or not used in the

cultivation and retting processes. There are three different types of fibre, the outer stalk (the longest fibres) mainly being used for fabrics and two inner types of fibre that are shorter and more commonly used for nonwovens. Hemp has the lowest elongation of the natural

cellulosic fibres. It is resistant to ultraviolet light and mold. There are varieties of hemp that is of no use as a source of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the hallucinatory agent in marijuana, but solely for the production of the fibres. Approximately 20-30% of the hemp plant is fibre. The hemp plant produces 250% more fibre than cotton and 600% more fibre than flax on the same land (Kadolph 2014, pp. 72-73). Hemp is cultivated to produce fabrics, that may be used, for instance, for apparel, shoes, carpets and packaging, but this market has declined significantly in the last years, although there is still a market due to today's environmental consciousness. Today, hemp is often replaced by synthetics due to their price difference and the natural degradation of hemp (Sponner, Toth, Cziger & Franck 2005).

6.3.6 Sisal

Sisal is a leaf fibre cultivated in warmer climates, mainly in Brazil, Tanzania, Mexico, Kenya, Madagascar, Haiti and China. Sisal is usually harvested once a year, but in some areas, three times in two years. The fibres are harder and coarser than other bast and leaf fibres. Sisal grows well in a dry climate but needs a wet season with rainfall to grow new leaves and the soil has to be well drained. Sisal is a xerophytic plant and is therefore suitable for cultivation in poor soil and sloping terrains where other plants cannot grow (Yu 2005). No additional irrigation is needed. Artificial fertilizers are not needed either in the production of sisal; however, fertilizers give a higher yield and are therefore sometimes used. The process from plant to fibre is carried out mechanically, the leaves are scratched to separate leaf tissue from fibres. The fibres are dried in the sun, dewatered and then brushed to get soft and shiny (Broeren et al. 2017).

The environmental impact of the production of sisal varies based on local approaches, the use of fertilizers, the waste management associated with the production and the transport


6.4 Compilation of relevant parameters per fibre

The relevant parameters per fibre are presented in Table 4, on the basis of the above theoretical framework of the six agricultural fibres.

Table 4.​ Compilation of relevant parameters per fibre

Fibre Cotton Seed fibre Flax Bast fibre Jute Bast fibre Ramie Bast fibre Hemp Bast fibre Sisal Leaf fibre Country of production China, India, USA, Pakistan, Brazil Belgium, France, Italy, Ireland, UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Russia, Belarus, New Zealand India, Bangladesh, China, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand China, Brazil, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, India China, Philippines, Italy, France, Chile, Russia, Poland, India, Canada Brazil, Tanzania, Mexico, Kenya, Madagascar, Haiti, China Fibre length, mm 10-50 8-69 0,75-6 60-250 5-55 0,8-7,5 Cross-sectional diameter in µm 14-21 8-31 5-25 17-64 13-41 7-47 Tensile strength in 10E6 ​N/m2 400 800-1500 400-800 500 550-900 600-700

Soil erosion Yes Yes No Yes No No

Irrigation Yes No No No No No

Rain-fed crop No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Chemicals used in cultivation and/or process

Yes Yes Yes Yes No No

Approximate chemical composition in % - Cellulose - Hemicelluloses - Pectin - Lignin - Fat & wax


Source: Kadolph 2014; Krishnani, Doraiswamy & Chellamani 2005; Yu 2005; Franck 2005; World wildlife fund 2020; FAO 2020; Kozlowski, Rawluk & Barriga-Bedoya 2005; Jose, Rajna & Ghosh 2016; Broeren et al. 2017.

6.5 Processing of agricultural fibres for nonwovens

Hýsek, Wimmer & Böhm (2016) used an opening-roller for preparation in their study when creating nonwoven from flax and hemp fibres. This is used to reduce the size of the fibres, to separate the fibres and as final cleansing from residual parts among the fibres. To get

equivalent results for flax and hemp, flax was run once in the machine when hemp had to be run three times. This process resulted in cleaner fibres but the fact that the fibres decompose slowly has to be taken into account.

To make a good quality jute material, crimp can be created. This is made with a sodium hydroxide solution. Furthermore, softener treatment is required to ensure the best prerequisites for creating a nonwoven from jute fibres (Subhankar 2016).

7 Result

7.1 Literature study

The measures in Table 4 vary widely and are not static, due to differences in the geographic location of cultivation, weather conditions and treatments in extracting and processing the fibres. Geographically, the majority of the fibres are cultivated in warmer climates and only two, flax and hemp, can be cultivated in cooler climates and can therefore be produced closer to manufacturing of industrial cleaning cloths. The geographical parameter is of interest when evaluating sustainability from the point of view of transports.

Ramie reaches the greatest fibre length. Cotton, flax and hemp are similar in length. Jute and sisal have the shortest fibres. Ramie, hemp and sisal have the widest variety and greatest cross-sectional diameter, compared with the uniform and controlled measures of polyester. Cotton, jute and flax have smaller cross-sectional diameters, which are closer to the polyester measures.


In Table 4, soil erosion as a parameter describes whether the plant drains the soil of nutrients or contributes to the soil’s wellbeing. Cotton needs irrigation, pesticides and fertilizers, and therefore causes soil erosion, unless crop rotation is applied or GM cotton used (Kadolph 2014, pp. 58-63). Flax also causes soil erosion due to of how the plant is harvested, by pulling the plant out with its roots to get the longest fibres (Kadolph 2014, pp. 69-71). Ramie is a greedy plant and can quickly deplete the soil (Kozlowski, Rawluk & Barriga-Bedoya 2005). Jute, hemp and sisal are then left as the plants that do not cause soil erosion. Jute and hemp are similar in terms of cultivation and do not need pesticides, fertilizers or irrigation when cultivated organically, although they can be used to ensure a higher yield.

The last parameter in Table 4 presents the approximate chemical composition of the fibres. The seed fibre cotton is the most distinguishing fibre compared with the others, with the highest proportion of cellulose. The other components do not vary significantly, but evaluating them in detail may give an indication of why a fibre is applicable or not in the process.

Previous research indicates that preparations is necessary to create good quality nonwovens, for example, with softener treatment or the creation of crimp (Subhankar 2016). Furthermore, an opening-roller is used in the Hýsek, Wimmer & Böhm (2016) study as preparation of flax and hemp fibres.

7.2 Prototype

The first attempt to make a prototype was made with hemp fibres. The fibres varied in length to the extent that they had to be cut manually to be feasible for the process. Despite the modification of the fibre length, it did not perform as desired in the process. One perceived reason for this outcome is that the fibres are too coarse and stiff and therefore were entangled in the process . A new attempt was then made with flax fibres, as seen in Table 5, which 3

performed successfully.

Table 5​. ​Content and process for manufactured reference and prototype samples

Product Content in % Process


Figure 1. ​Reference sample (left) and prototype sample (right)

The result of the successfully manufactured reference and prototype samples are presented in Figure 1.

7.3 Laboratory test

7.3.1 Dry tensile strength: 14-104

Test results from the dry tensile strength test are presented in Table 6 and show the average of eight test specimens of each kind and also the standard deviation. The results indicate that the prototype sample has greater strength than the reference sample, both in MD and CD. The difference is greater in MD than in CD. The standard deviation is higher for the reference sample than for the prototype sample in both MD and CD. For the reference sample, one measurement stands out and is lower than the other seven both in MD and CD, which yield similar measurements, as seen in Annex 1. The occasional low measure lowers the mean. Elongation is greater for the reference sample in both MD and CD compared with the


display greater variation for the prototype sample compared with the reference sample whose measurements vary less, as seen in Annex 1.

In both work and load at 10% strain, the measurement values for the prototype sample were higher in MD but lower in CD compared with the reference sample. Stiffness is similar in the two samples but slightly higher in the reference sample.

Table 6. ​Average results from dry tensile strength test

Maximum strength (N/m) Strain (%) (Elongation) Work (J/m2​) Stiffness (kN/m) Load at 10% strain (N) Reference MD 741.33 42.47 239.98 14.76 16.56 Stdev 76.59 1.23 25.80 3.02 1.84 Prototype MD 873.39 36.79 247.39 14.49 19.80 Stdev 45.73 3.32 35.33 2.82 1.34 Reference CD 538.25 54.20 223.89 3.74 9.49 Stdev 70.96 4.01 40.58 0.29 0.90 Prototype CD 541.23 44.81 174.05 2.41 7.10 Stdev 62.43 5.13 38.16 0.19 0.45

7.3.2 Wet tensile strength: 14-150

The test results for wet tensile strength are presented in Table 7 and show the average of eight test specimens of each kind and the standard deviation. The test results show, that the

prototype sample has greater strength than the reference sample in both MD and CD. In MD, the standard deviation is equivalent between both samples but in CD, the variation is much greater in the prototype sample than in the reference sample. In Annex 1, it can be clearly seen that the measurements have a wider spread in the prototype sample in CD, compared with the reference sample.

Elongation is greater in the reference sample in both MD and CD compared with the prototype sample, which also has a higher standard deviation. As seen in Annex 1, the individual measurements for the prototype sample has a wider variation, which is shown by the uneven results.


higher measurement in work and load at 10% strain in CD compared with the prototype sample. For stiffness in CD, the prototype sample has higher measurements. As seen in Table 7, the majority of the results are similar, which indicates minor differences between the prototype and reference samples.

Table 7.​ Average results from wet tensile strength test

Maximum strength (N/m) Strain (%) (Elongation) Work (J/m2​) Stiffness (kN/m) Load at 10% strain (N) Reference MD 248.91 49.21 76.00 0.96 3.06 Stdev 25.09 3.03 9.93 0.13 0.09 Prototype MD 366.54 46.80 95.84 1.07 3.15 Stdev 25.85 4.27 8.40 0.07 0.32 Reference CD 211.36 56.78 73.98 0.43 2.10 Stdev 16.61 1.65 4.50 0.04 0.15 Prototype CD 247.83 51.22 73.73 0.65 1.77 Stdev 50.11 6.24 17.70 0.10 0.10

7.3.3 Absorption: 15-101

Test results from the absorption test are presented in Table 8. It shows the average of ten test specimens of each kind of the reference sample and the prototype sample. The average weight of the reference sample in dry condition is 0.0333 grammes lower than the prototype sample. In wet condition, the reference sample weight is 0.0267 grammes lower than the prototype sample.

The results show no major differences for absorption between the reference and prototype samples. The reference sample has slightly higher absorbency than the prototype sample, 6.8538 grammes for the reference sample compared to 6.5814 grammes for the prototype sample. The standard deviation is higher for the prototype sample than for to the reference sample, as seen in Table 8.

Table 8. ​Average results from absorption test

Dry weight (g) Wet weight (g) Absorption (g/g) Stdev (g)

Reference sample 0.8286 6.5077 6.8538 0.1188


7.4 Panel test

The results from the panel test are presented below, with bar charts and summarised text. The survey for the panel test is presented in Annex 3. Cloth A = reference sample and cloth B = prototype sample.

The results show large differences between the respondents regarding the visual experience. Some of the respondents describe the reference sample (A) with words like clean, fresh, good, even and nice. Others thought it was stiff, hard and rough, and one described it as wood-like. Three of the respondents associated it with wallpaper from the 60s or 70s. However, two respondents associated the prototype sample (B) with wallpaper as well. The majority described the prototype sample with words like natural, raw, recycled and

eco-friendly. One respondent thought it looked like a luxury product, while two respondents thought it was rough and wood-like.

Four respondents observed the colour as a difference between the two samples, while one observed the structure. Some respondents characterised the reference sample as softer,

synthetic and as more familiar, while the prototype sample was more natural and eco-friendly but with bad quality.


Figure 2.​ Polish with dry cloth.

One respondent experienced the prototype sample (B) to result in ‘a lot of linting’, while most of the other respondents experienced ‘no linting’ with neither sample, as seen in Figure 2.

Figure 3.​ How does the cloth absorb the liquid?


Figure 4. ​How is the result on the surface?

Observations about the result on the surface after cleaning vary for both the reference sample (A) and the prototype sample (B), as seen in Figure 4.

Figure 5. ​How is the result if you look at linting (remaining fibres)?


Figure 6. ​Is the cloth strong/durable?

The prototype sample (B) scores better, in general, than the reference sample (A) for strength/durability, as seen in Figure 6. The answers from the respondents show greater variation for the reference sample (A) than the prototype sample (B).

Figure 7. ​Total ranking of the cloths


Figure 8 . ​Which of the two cloths would you prefer to use?

Six respondents preferred to use the reference sample while six respondents preferred the prototype sample, as seen in Figure 8. The most common observations from the respondents preferring the reference sample (A) are the visual impression, the perception that it absorbs better and its smoothness. The performance is equal to the prototype sample according to most of the respondents. At the same time, respondents preferring the prototype sample (B) describe the prototype sample as being more absorbent. Some respondents perceived the prototype sample as stronger, more effective and, due to its natural look, as a more sustainable choice.

8 Discussion

8.1 Process applicability of an agricultural fibre

Hemp was not successful for use in the prototype sample for this project, due to its characteristics. The fibres vary in length to the extent that they got entangled in both the separation of the fibres and in the manufacturing process. If the fibres had been pre-treated as in the Hýsek, Wimmer & Böhm (2016) study, a more successful result may have been

obtained. Using an opening-roller to reduce the size, separate the fibres and clean them would result in a finer hemp fibre than the fibres used in this study. Furthermore, softening

treatment as suggested in the Subhankar (2016) study might be used to achieve applicability of hemp fibres in the manufacturing process.


conditions and are laden with uneven characteristics (Hýsek, Wimmer & Böhm 2016). While polyester fibres can be changed in their cross-section to modify their properties (Kadolph 2014, pp.164-165), agricultural fibres are static and, moreover, uneven within their own structure (Hýsek, Wimmer & Böhm 2016). In general, the test results for the prototype sample showed a higher standard deviation compared with the reference sample, which can be ascribed to the uneven structural characteristics of an agricultural fibre.

Bast fibres are generally coarse and stiff (Kadolph 2014, pp. 69-73), which may be of importance for the strength of the industrial cleaning cloth. This is amplified by the test results for strength, where the prototype sample scored higher than the reference sample. Despite the greater strength of the prototype sample, the elongation is better in the reference sample, which is probably due to the different properties of the polyester and the bast fibres. The high elongation property of polyester fibres (Kadolph 2014, pp.164-166) may not be a necessary property in the industrial cleaning cloth. The requirements for the industrial cleaning cloth may be more about structure and cleaning performance than about durability when stretched.

The panel test in combination with laboratory tests show no major differences between the prototype sample and the reference sample performance. This demonstrates the great potential of using an agricultural fibre in the industrial cleaning cloth. However, it is more complicated to achieve a uniform and acceptable result with agricultural fibres than with polyester fibres, with regard to aesthetics. The panel test shows that the variations in experience among the respondents affects the acceptance of differences in appearance. Results from the panel test show that respondents perceived the prototype sample as being more absorbent than the reference sample. The absorbance capacity test from the laboratory shows that the reference sample has greater capacity than the prototype sample. The surface of the cloth may have affected the perceived absorption in the panel test. This may be noticeable when wiping off water with the cloth but not in the absorption capacity test, since the cloth in the test is completely submerged in water. However, the absorption results may differ to a greater extent due to standard deviations. These results indicate that the prototype has acceptable performance for the industrial cleaning cloth.

Agricultural fibres have good absorption properties (Kadolph 2014, pp. 69-71) while


8.2 Sustainability aspects of fibre selection

Cotton is one of the finest fibres with regard to physical structure, compared with the

evaluated fibres. It is widely used in apparel fabrics (WWF 2020) because of its fine structure and soft feel (Kadolph 2014, pp. 58-63). In this study, these characteristics may be a

disadvantage, as a coarser and stiffer fibre lend the desirable characteristics to the industrial cleaning cloth. This is because a coarser and stiffer fibre results in a sturdier, thicker and bulkier cloth that performs well in some industrial professions. It is also debatable whether fine fibres should be used in single-use products, where cotton fibres may be seen as overperforming, therefore being ineffective in such products. However, this may be argued for all kinds of agricultural fibres. Fibre selection should be made on the basis of how they need to perform. In single-use products, the selection of the fibre is of even greater

importance, due to its short life span.

Local approaches to cultivation affect environmental aspects, with regard, for example, to the use of chemicals, waste management in production, and transport, as mentioned in the

Broeren et al. (2017) study. Four of the six fibres in the compilation need chemicals during cultivation or in the processing of the fibre, however, these parameters cannot simply be answered with “yes” or “no”, due to the cultivation alternatives available to farmers, such as conventional or organic approaches. For example, the fibre yield increases when chemicals are used (Broeren et al. 2017) even if they are not necessary to achieve an acceptable yield. Furthermore, irrigation is dependent on the location’s climate and knowledge of the most efficient way to use the available water resources. Cotton is the only fibre that is dependent of irrigation (Kadolph 2014, pp. 58-63) but again, the fibre yield is affected by the absence of, or the use of irrigation in the cultivation of all agricultural fibres. When the fibre yield is low and the amount of waste is large, waste management needs to be handled in a sustainable manner. This differs from fibre to fibre, due to the extracted fibres varying with regard to amounts and waste type, for example, waste can be used as biogas, animal food, organic fertilizers (Broeren et al. 2017) or pulp (Yu 2005). The geographical location of cultivation is of interest from the point of transport. Hemp and flax are cultivated in regions closer to the production locales of the industrial cleaning cloth, resulting in shorter and more sustainable transports.


8.3 Other discoveries regarding the results

When evaluating the prototype sample, the structure and feeling is observed as more robust, heavier and more effective than the reference sample. This could result in a scrubbing effect that may be desirable in industrial professions. The structural characteristics of agricultural fibres may explain this effect. This property may be suitable for heavy cleaning applications. Pulp can be extracted from the sisal plant (Yu, 2005). It is of interest, as sisal pulp and fibres could possibly be used in industrial cleaning cloths. If this is feasible, the product content of sisal alone, could be as much as 80%, as seen in Table 1. If this material can be used it could provide a more sustainable industrial cleaning cloth that might be biodegradable,

compostable or easier to recycle. It would have to be further evaluated with testing of a manufactured prototype.

Since the flax fibre was successful in the manufacturing process for the industrial cleaning cloth, several of the other agricultural fibres may also be applicable. However, prototypes with other agricultural fibres would need to be evaluated and tested to ensure their


8.4 Method discussion

The reference sample and prototype sample may not have the same qualities as existing products, due to the materials and machine used for manufacturing the samples. On the other hand, the conditions are the same for both samples, which means that the comparison gives a fair, credible and valid result. Furthermore, the test results may contain margin errors due to the manufacturing process for the samples and the limited amount of material.

The panel test was conducted with respondents within the company, which may be perceived as biased compared with using respondents from the industrial markets where the product is used. Due to the limited amount of material and time constraints, the method used was a necessary and feasible choice for this study. In a larger panel test, more respondents would be included, which would affect the validity of the results.

The parameters in the compilation show major variations, especially with regard to fibre length and width. This is due to the wide variations in the details about the reference material in the literature study.


9 Conclusion

This study opens up for a broad discussion and further research about the extensive environmental impact of plastic products. Regarding the specific subject of single-use products, more knowledge and research need to be conducted to find sustainable solutions. Corporations need to redirect their plastic use in products to new innovative solutions, in order to assume responsibility for global warming. In the long run, these changes will have positive effects for all living species.

The purpose of this study has been met, since the flax fibre is applicable in the process of manufacturing an alternative to the existing industrial cleaning cloth. The flax fibre is also applicable from a sustainable aspect if the fibre is cultivated and processed organically.

1. How can an agricultural fibre be applicable in the same process as the one currently used for polyester in the production of industrial cleaning cloths?

An agricultural fibre used in the same process as the one used for polyester to make a nonwoven, would be applicable if processed to reach a more uniform structure and length. This can be achieved through pre-treatments.

1.1 Will the physical structure of an agricultural fibre be applicable in the process?

The physical structure matters to the process. The coarseness and stiffness of the fibre seem to be of importance and, therefore, not all agricultural fibres are applicable. Hemp was not applicable in the process, presumably for this reason. Flax fibre was successful in the process, which makes it dependent on which agricultural fibre that is used.

1.2 Are the requirements regarding quality fulfilled in the prototype with an agricultural fibre?

As seen in the test results from both laboratory tests and the panel test, the two samples, the reference and the prototype, are similar with regard to most of the relevant parameters. The quality requirements can thus be seen as satisfied to the extent that making a product with flax is feasible. While flax gives the cloth a more robust and stiff structure compared with the cloth with polyester fibres, it may perform well in the industrial professions where it is most used.

2. What sustainable advantages does an agricultural fibre have compared with the currently used polyester fibre?

Using an agricultural fibre that does not need harmful pesticides, fertilizers or irrigation in the cultivation and processing of the fibre would be a more sustainable option than using a


can be located relatively close to the production of the industrial cleaning cloths. Flax can be cultivated organically and does not need irrigation.

9.1 Further research

The cost aspects can be evaluated through further research. If the production costs for the new product end up being higher, it could still prove to be profitable since the new EU directive may include restrictions and fees on single-use products containing plastics. A detailed empirical compilation from prior research about processing of nonwovens with agricultural fibres would be valuable for the further development of this type of product. Further research may lead to changes to the material content to make a biodegradable, or compostable, single-use product.

The fibre yield of the different agricultural fibres may be of importance to evaluate whether the selected fibre is sustainable or not.

Prototypes with agricultural fibres that are pre-treated with the suggested methods should be tested and evaluated to determine if the quality is maintained.

A larger panel test should be carried out, with ​users from the industrial market where the product is primarily used, ​to get a fair assessment from the industry and not only from in-house employees.

A life cycle assessment should be conducted to get a more valid estimation of the impact on the sustainability of both fibres and products.

10 Evaluation of the study

10.1 Relevance

New restrictions and regulations are discussed within the framework of the new EU

‘Single-Use Plastics directive’. Awareness of the increasing plastic pollution and its negative impacts on our environment contributes to the change and use of plastics in single-use


10.2 Reliability

The reliability aims to how trustworthy the study and the test results are

(Nationalencyklopedin n.d.b).This study has been conducted in collaboration with Essity, with a supervisor from their research and development department. It is in the corporation's interest that the results are correct and can be used for further product development. The study has been reviewed by the supervisor, but not by an external expert in the field. To ensure reliability, the tests should also have been carried out at the Swedish School of Textiles laboratory; however, due to the current situation with a global pandemic and the closure of the laboratories at the school, this was not feasible.

10.3 Validity

The validity will ensure the absence of measuring errors (Nationalencyklopedin n.d.c). The validity in this study is achieved by triangulation through a theoretical part and a practical part. The theoretical part consists of a compilation of the literature and scientific research, and combined with the practical experimental part it has increased the validity of the study.

10.4 Ethics

In this study, corporation confidentiality will be respected, and the study will therefore be reviewed and approved by the supervisor and the corporation before publication.

10.5 Sustainability

The background to the study is the new EU ‘Single-Use Plastics Directive’, the work on which was undertaken due to the environmental impacts of single-use products. This study has therefore been conducted with sustainability as a foundation.


List of references


Fletcher, K. (2014). ​Sustainable fashion and textiles. ​2nd edition. New York: Routledge. Franck, R. R. (2005). Overview. ​Bast and Other Plant Fibres​. Cambridge: Woodhead Publishing Series in Textiles. doi: 10.1533/9781845690618.1

Holme, I. M. & Solvang, B. K. (1997). ​Forskningsmetodik - Om kvalitativa och kvantitativa

metoder. ​2nd edition. Lund: Studentlitteratur.

Kadolph, Sara J. (2014)​. Pearson new international edition, Textiles​. 11th edition. Kozlowski, R. Rawluk, M. & Barriga-Bedoya, J. (2005). Ramie. I Franck, R. R. Bast and Other Plant Fibres. Cambridge: Woodhead Publishing Series in Textiles, pp. 213. doi: 10.1533/9781845690618.207

Salmon-Minotter, J. & Frank, R.R. (2005). Flax.​ ​I ​Franck​,​ R. R. ​Bast and Other Plant Fibres​. Cambridge: Woodhead Publishing Series in Textiles, pp. 94-175.

doi: 10.1533/9781845690618.94

Krishnani, K. B., Doraiswamy, I. & Chellamani, K. P. (2005). Jute.​ ​I ​Franck​,​ R. R. ​Bast and

Other Plant Fibres​. Cambridge: Woodhead Publishing Series in Textiles, pp. 24-93.

doi: 10.1533/9781845690618.24

Sponner, J., Toth, L., Cziger, S. & Franck, R.R. (2005). Hemp​. ​I ​Franck​,​ R. R. ​Bast and

Other Plant Fibres​. Cambridge: Woodhead Publishing Series in Textiles, pp. 176-206. doi:


Yu, C. (2005). Sisal.​ ​I ​Franck​,​ R. R. ​Bast and Other Plant Fibres​. Cambridge: Woodhead Publishing Series in Textiles, pp. 228-273.doi: 10.1533/9781845690618.228

Scientific articles

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Dilkes-Hoffman, L. S., Pratt, S., Laycock, B., Ashworth, P. & Lant, P. A.​ (2019). Public attitudes towards plastics. ​Resources, Conservation & Recycling​, 147, pp. 227-235. doi: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2019.05.005

Hýsek, Š., Wimmer, R. & Böhm, M. (2016). Optimal Processing of Flax and Hemp Fibre Nonwovens.​ BioResources​, 11(4), pp. 8522-8534. doi: 10.15376/biores.11.4.8522-8534 Jose, S. Rajna, S. & Ghosh, P. (2016). Ramie Fibre Processing and Value Addition. ​Asian

Journal of Textile​, 7(1), pp. 1-9. doi: 10.3923/ajt.2017.1.9.

Kale, S. K., Deshmukh, A. D., Dudhare, M. S. & Patil, V. P. (2015). Microbial degradation of plastic: a review. ​Journal of Biochemical Technology​, 6(2), pp. 952-961. ISSN: 09742328 Pejić, B., Sikora, V., Milić, S., Mačkić, K., Koren, A. & Bajić, I. (2018). Effect of drip irrigation on yield and evapotranspiration of fibre hemp (cannabis sativa L.). ​Ratarstvo i

Povrtarstvo​, 55(3), pp. 130-134. doi: 10.5937/ratpov55-19471

Subhankar, M. (2016). Jute Needlepunched Nonwovens: Manufacturing, Properties, and Applications. ​Journal of Natural fibres​, 13(4), pp.383-396.

doi: 10.1080/15440478.2015.1029200


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) (n.d.). Catalogue of crops used in the Bioenergy and Food Security Rapid Appraisal (BEFS RA).

http://www.fao.org/3/a-bp841e.pdf [2020-04-28]

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) (2020).​ Future fibres, Jute.


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http://www.forskningpagar.se/experimentella-studier/ [2020-03-07]

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Internal Essity Information

Essity (2019).​ Tork Automotive and Industrial: Identify the task, find the right product [internal material]. Mölndal: Essity

International standards

Nonwovens Standard Procedures (NWSP) (2015). ​NWSP 110.4.R0 (15) Breaking Force and

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Annex 2: Individual test results for Absorption

Reference sample

(Wet weight - Dry weight) / Dry weight = Absorption

1. 6.675 - 0.841 / 0.841 = 6.9370 2. 6.656 - 0.83 / 0.83 = 7.0193 3. 6.498 - 0.828 / 0.828 = 6.8478 4. 6.535 - 0.831 / 0.831 = 6.8640 5. 6.435 - 0.813 / 0.813 = 6.9151 6. 6.598 - 0.83 / 0.83 = 6.9494 7. 6.284 - 0.826 / 0.826 = 6.6077 8. 6.516 - 0.83 / 0.83 = 6.8506 9. 6.55 - 0.833 / 0.833 = 6.8631 10 6.33 - 0.824 / 0.824 = 6.6820 Prototype sample

(Wet weight - Dry weight) / Dry weight = Absorption


Annex 3: Survey for panel test


Industrial cleaning cloth - a comparison

Welcome to this panel test!

This is a part of a bachelor’s thesis through the Swedish School of Textiles in Borås. You are asked to compare test cloth​ (A) ​with test cloth​ (B)​. Please perform and compile by the latest ​18/5-20​.

1. Visual appearance:

What is your first visual impression of test cloth​ (A)​?

What is your first visual impression of test cloth​ (B)​?

What differences do you experience when comparing test cloth ​(A)​ and ​(B)​?

2. Feel:

Feel on test cloth ​(A)​. How does it feel? (Based on parameters such as softness, roughness, stiffness etc.)

Feel on test cloth​ (B)​. How does it feel? (Based on parameters such as softness, roughness, stiffness etc.)


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På många små orter i gles- och landsbygder, där varken några nya apotek eller försälj- ningsställen för receptfria läkemedel har tillkommit, är nätet av

Figur 11 återger komponenternas medelvärden för de fem senaste åren, och vi ser att Sveriges bidrag från TFP är lägre än både Tysklands och Schweiz men högre än i de