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Topic: Smell Off The Fiber?  (Read 3082 times)
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« on: March 11, 2008 08:51:59 AM »

How do I remove the petrochemical smell from jute twine, a plant-based fiber (nonprotein)?
I was planning on doing some basic fingerweaving with it, but it smells like the arse end of a semi-trailer. Nobody's going to want that!
I washed these over-night (plain soap & water) and rinsed each ball of twine for 5 minutes and wrung twice, this morning. The smell is almost gone, but, it lingers.
I think the smell might be due to some chemical (a lubricant) applied to the spindle these are wound on, at the factory. Meaning it's probably a synthetic.
Should I toss these in to some paint thinner or MEK, and then wash/rinse again once dry?
Or hope for the best...?
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2008 08:35:41 AM »

Since no one else is saying anything -
I think using solvent is a bad idea. I suspect it will make the jute nasty to work with. (Brittle springs to mind.)
Of course I don't have any really good ideas of what you should do. Maybe synthaprol or mild detergent?

Maybe the spinner's would have a better idea?

I guess you can test small amounts to see if anything works.
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2008 06:13:21 PM »

I don't think it will ever come out.

I did think about Febreeze...but I really don't think you will get it out.  Putting it in paint thinner or anything else with a stronger smell may make it worse...then it would smell like paint thinner...and I don't think that would rinse out of the jute fibers.

Let us know if anything works.  I do wish you luck.
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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2008 07:43:57 PM »

Thank you both for the advice!

I don't think it's going to 100% fully come out, either. sigh.

I soaked a mile of the twine in water with a solvent, for 24 hours, then rinsed and rinsed and rinsed. It took me about 5-6 minutes per small ball of twine to rinse.

The solution (before I rinsed it) was the color of new motor oil - a pale gold - and it smelled like it too. So the spindles were lubricated with an oil - common for machinery - and the oil got on the twine. It will act as a rot-proofer outdoors, but indoors, yuck!

Febreeze is toxic to birds; I won't have it in the house. If the smell lingers after a good wash or 2 - then - well, oh well. Smiley.

The smell is very greatly reduced. I'm pretty sure I got at least 50% of it out. The balls of twine no longer smell unless you put them right up to your nose and take a good whiff.
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2008 05:54:37 AM »

try alcohol.

paint thinner will decay your fibers and it should not be rinsed out in house hold plumbing.


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« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2008 09:42:39 AM »

Luckily I wasn't using paint thinner. I was using detergent-based solvents and water. Smiley
The smell is mostly gone, and what very little remains is very sweet and pleasant.
Thanks all for your help!
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