Banana Fiber Production
History on Wikipedia tells us that Japan’s cultivation for banana textiles dates back to the 13th century. The traditional process requires many handmade steps without machinery. In Nepal the process differs and is more silk-like. Typically fibers are sent to Kathmandu Valley for making rugs.
As a natural fiber enthusiast, I am noticing an increase in banana fiber production. Love the recent hessnatur advertisements and education of New SADLE, a nonprofit organization in Nepal that is responsible for weaving the banana silk scarves they offer. You can find hessnatur offerings from the Chíc Eco Retail Shop in the BODIES sector.
Good news from Textile Exchange is that a banana fiber separator machine developed in India is utilized today. Because of this innovative extraction process, agricultural waste is more easily converted to a raw material for good quality silk grade fiber yarn.
Another site, Qieys’s Weblog in Malaysia, illustrates an extractor machine for banana fiber that may be operated by two ladies. One person is to cut the trees into pieces and another person is to operate the machinery. Doesn’t sound bad.
Below is a process summary from hessnatur.