Banana fiber resource in Uganda
Uganda is the Banana Republic of Africa with more than 50 varieties. Uganda grows more bananas than any other country in the world but India. Ugandans consume more bananas than anyone else.
Realize this potential resource, TexFad, one company in Uganda is turning banana waste (banana stems) into high-quality, sustainable textile products. TexFad is one of the first companies to bring these products in Uganda. It set up in 2013
The startup extracts the fiber from the banana tree’s trunk used to make environmentally friendly products like carpets, textiles, and biodegradable hair extensions.
Banana fiber now becomes a green alternative to cotton or silk. Every banana stem only fruits once in its lifetime. For every ton of fruit plantations produces 2 tons of pieces
The process to turn banana fiber into rugs, fabric and hair extensions.
Separate Leaf Sheath from the banana stems, then leave them out to dry under the sun. Dried leaf sheaths are extracted into fiber by the extractor machine. This is an important step, the only part of processes that require machinery. It’s not cheap. The machine is around 10000 USD for new one, for used one is 1000 USD. The rest of the works is done by hand
The extracted banana fibers are dried again until they feel like the silky yarn, as strong as rope. The next step is for dyeing. Banana fibers absorbs dyes better than cotton, which mean it needs less water and less land to produce.
The final step is weaving to be able to make household goods and handicrafts. Because of handmade products, the price is high
These kinds of textile are biodegradable and more sustainable alternative to other popular fabrics, so banana fibers can be one of the alternative fabrics in sustainable fashion industry in the future.
You can discover more sustainable fabric made by bamboo fiber here
Video is available here
Reference souce: https://www.businessinsider.com/