Descriptions of Nonplant Fibers
Wool fibers are built up of two layers: the outer surface or cuticle, and the cortex. The cuticle is composed of overlapping scales (Fig. A). The cortex, which is the main portion of the wool fiber, is made up of spindle-shaped cells. In some wool fibers, such as alpaca, the cortex encloses an inner hollow core, termed a medulla, which may be either continuous or interrupted (Fig. B). All animal fibers, other than silk, are composed of the sulfur-containing protein, keratin (Sundquist 1981 p. 94, Identification of text. mat. 1985 p. 5).
KeywordsGlass Fiber Silk Fiber Wool Fiber Caustic Soda Fiber Viscose
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