Friday, November 9, 2012

Abaca Fiber Extracting Device

Old style of extracting fiber
Modern style of extracting fiber

Extraction of Fiber

The most prevalent methods of abaca fiber extraction in the Philippines are the Hand Stripping (Hand-hagotan) and the Machine Stripping (Spindle).

Hand Stripping is a fully manual process of extracting fiber which uses a device made up of a movable knife, a knife rest or base, and a weight to keep the movable portion firmly in position as stripping is performed.  In this method, the tuxies or leafsheath splits are inserted between a block and the stripping knife which can be either serrated or non-serrated.  The foot pedal is then released to clamp the tuxy firmly into place.  The stripper then pulls the tuxy away from the knife with full force, both hands clasping the tuxy wound around a wooden pulling aid.

Machine Stripping, on the other hand, is a semi-mechanized improvement on the Hand Stripping process.  The tuxy is wound around a tapered-shaped spindle which is kept in motion by an electric motor.  The speed at which the spindle draws the fiber over the knife depends on its position.  By using this method, a stripper can process many leafsheaths in a short amount of time and, with the proper kind of knife, produce fibers of uniform grades. (PIA, Sorsogon/CB Trading)

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