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Fig. Q. TEM view showing several layers of the fibre cell wall. The thickness indicates the intensity of lignification on the S1, S2, and S3 cell wall layers, X 11,500; Fig. R. TEM view: the intercellular space and middle lamella are merged and appear as compound middle lamella (CML), X 11, 500.

DISCUSSION

The members of Cyperaceae are less understood biologically and not much economically exploited. However, the use of C. pangorei and other sedges is restricted to handicraft products, papermaking, perfumery, and insecticidal compounds. Consequently the scientific consideration of this family is necessary, especially in the understanding of parts used in handicrafts and other sectors. Sedge mat and mat products made in India are unique and vary from place to place. The silk and super fine mats produced using Cyperus pangorei at Pathamadai in Tamil Nadu has international recognition and appreciation due to its exemplary and intricate artistic value. Hence, quantities of mats have been complimented as a means of respect and greetings to celebrities, including Queen Elizabeth II. The present study had been fortunate to unravel the culm and fibre anatomy, as well as chemical and physicomechanical properties of the culm strands used in silk mat making. Fibre characteristics of C. pangorei were studied, which determine the quality, fine texture, and strength of the silk mats. This analysis was performed to relate tissue components and their relevance towards the making of silk and superfine mats.

Beneath the epidermis alternating patches of fibrous sheath (sclerenchyma) and translucent parenchyma cells constitute the hypodermis. The fibrous sheath is a multilayer of 7-12 cells with lignified thick walls, which are often associated with vascular bundles. These fibrous sheaths appear in the form of long columns (baculiform) extending from the epidermis and are referred to as girders that provide mechanical support to the vascular bundles (Metcalfe 1971). The durability and tenacity of the culm strands in mat weaving has been attributed to this characteristic feature (Benazir 2010). The presence of too many parenchyma cells between the girders will lead to breakage;

Benazir et al. (2010). “Sedge fibers and strands,” BioResources 5(2), 951-967.

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