Alginate Fibres – Uses, Botanical Source, Characters, and Chemical Constituents


Calcium Alginate fibres

Source and preparation:

Alginate fibres of surgical dressings are represented by the Calcium alginate fibres, which are prepared from solutions of sodium alginate and calcium chloride. A spinning process similar to that for viscose rayon is used for the preparation of these fibres. Calcium alginate fibres are also reduced to. a staple for processing them to a wool or fabric like Viscose rayon or Cotton.

Macroscopical and microscopical characters:

Calcium alginate fibres are cream-coloured lustrous fibres. Under the microscope they appear as longitudinally finely grooved solid rods similar to those of Viscose rayon. They are harsh in texture, colourless and tasteless. Calcium alginate fibres swell and dissolve in ammoniacal copper nitrate but are insoluble in 60 percent cold sulphuric acid, 5 percent boiling potassium hydroxide solution and warm hydrochloric acid.


Calcium alginate fibres are used to prepare gauzes for absorbable haemostatic dressings and bacteriological swabs.

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