Oriental Papermaking Fibres


Common Name Kenaf Japanese Name Kinafu
Scientific Name

Mavaceae Hibiscus L.

Fibre Length Average 5mm (2-6mm) Fibre Width Average 25μm (14-35μm)
Fibre Ends Pointed Cross-Marking Strong
Associated Cells Pitted vessel elements and Paranchyma cells
Herzberg Colour Blue Graff 'C' Colour Blue


Originating in eastern Africa, Kenaf is a fast-growing  pant that can attain a height of up to four metres in as little as 4 months. Grown in India and through south east Asia it is used for coarse fabrics, carpets and rugs, and India cigarette papers. Experiment have taken place as to the use of the bast fibres, or whole stem pulping for paper production [14]. Kenaf is seen as an alternative to timber plantation fibre sources. Other names for Kenaf include Bimli, Ambary, Ambari Hemp, Deccan Hemp, and Bimlipatum Jute.

 A short fibre with faint crossmarkings, Kenaf fibres end in a variety of end types, although usually they appear to be pointed. Fibre broadening can occure due to variations in width of the lumen. Short pitted fibres are present, and are generally wider than flax, and pitted vessel elemts are also present, wider than those in flax, resembling those in hemp. Cell walls in fibres may also vary in width. Fibres stain yellow with a green or blue lumen that is detached in some fibres depending upon their level of processing.

Image 1 Image 2
kenaf1 kenaf2


For information about this page, contact: Travis Taylor
Contact email address: travtora@gmail.com
Centre homepage: www.culturalconservation.unimelb.edu.au
Page last modified:

This page, its contents and style, are the responsibility of the author and do not represent the views, policies or opinions of The University of Melbourne.