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This paper presents the results of some physicochemical properties of cellulosic fabric obtained by esterification using 50 cm3 of oil extracted from the seed of Balanites aegyptiaca.
The oil was extracted under reflux with hexane which gave 40% yield and 0.22% moisture content. The identified cellulosic materials 10 cm and 21 cm x 2.5 cm) were subjected to purification process of scouring, bleaching and mercerization to obtain cleaner, whiter and stronger fabric that could withstand esterification treatment.
The yarn crimp was 25% and 15% for warp and weft direction respectively, while the grey fabric gave the lowest of 5% and 8% for warp and weft directions. The linear density (45 tex) was recorded for the esterified fabric compared to 37 tex for the grey fabric along warp direction. The fabric sett increased from 24 thd/cm for grey to 27 thd/cm for esterified along warp direction and 16 thd/cm to 23 thd/cm along weft direction. There was an obvious reduction in shrinkage from 31 for mercerized fabric to 28 along warp direction after esterification and 21 to 19 along weft direction. The tensile parameter was 262.60 N and 166.24 N with extension of 13.92 mm and 12.23 mm along warp and weft directions respectively while the grey fabric recorded 223.87 N and 109.39 N with extensions of 3.64 mm and 3.56 mm in warp and weft direction respectively. There was a remarkable improvement in the dry and wet crease recovery angles after esterification (105º dry and 65º wet, 102º dry and 59º wet) along warp and weft direction respectively. The grey fabric gave the lowest crease recovery (50º dry and 37º wet, 45º dry and 35º wet) along warp and weft directions respectively.
The esterified fabric recorded lower water absorption. The improvements in the investigated properties may be due to dimensional stability, flexibility and fineness due to esterification. This research is commendable because biodegradable organic seed oil is used to modify the physicochemical properties of cellulosic fabric for the first time. These incredible effects of the seed oil on cellulose is an immense contribution to knowledge, hence the oil is recommended for replacement of the present day toxic chemicals used in textile finishing of cellulosic fabrics.