Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa
Volume 4, 1871
– 370 –

If Phormium, Manilla, or Sisal fibre be submitted to the action of ordinary bleaching agents for a short time, and afterwards treated with alkalies, they immediately turn to a red or brown colour, showing the presence of an oxidizable substance distinct from the fibre. This substance is insoluble in hot or cold water, alcohol, ether, chloroform, or weak hydrochloric acid. That it is not present in such fibres as hemp, flax (linum), cotton, and rheea, is shown by the fact that they do not give this particular reaction.

The President remarked that the discoveries of Mr. Skey, acting, as they did, differently on different fibres, would be a very valuable means of detecting adulteration.