THE BANANA SILK(Banana fiber)

Banana fiber is a fabric made from a banana plant, not the fruit but the inner part of the stem of a banana plant.

The technology of banana silk, the process of manufacturing, the use of banana
silk, end-product quality. It is a natural fiber made from a banana plant and its
similar to silk.

ivory banana silk
ivory banana silk

The Technology of Banana silk

The one who started making fiber using banana peels and stems of the banana plant was philipines. Which was used centuries before? As the fashion industry developed the demand for these fibers increased, which was also known as Musa fiber.one of the main qualities of these fibers is that they are the strongest and long-lasting natural fibers. They are also biodegradable natural fiber. Banana fiber is similar to natural Bamboo fiber, but its spinning ability, fineness, and tensile strength are more when compared. These fibers are of two types inner-peel banana fiber, and outer-peel banana fiber. An example of inner-peel banana fiber is banana silk. This type of fiber is very so like silk, though it is named as banana silk, but it is very expensive to produce.

banana silk fiber
banana silk fiber making

How does banana fabric impact the environment?

The banana fiber is very eco friendly, that’s because it is made from the waste products of banana plant which is natural

The process of manufacturing banana silk

The steps of manufacturing are as follows:

Extraction(manual and machine)

Dying

Spinning and Weaving

Extraction(manual)

The first step is to collect the section by section materials from the bark of the banana plant, The material should be collected from the main stem. Proper care should be given so that the damage of fiber can be avoided. Roll it slightly to remove the excess
moisture, impurities, and excess pulp(coating of the cellulose). Remove it manually by using a comb and then clean the fibers and dry it. Also, the broken fibers and other impurities from the banana should be removed This is the consuming time so it can damage the fibers. So this kind of technique is not recommended for industrial and application production.

Extraction(machine)

There are special machines designed and developed for the extraction of banana silk in a mechanical and automated manner. It consists of two horizontal beams whereby a carriage is attached and a specially designed comb to move back and forth. This technique can also be performed simply by placing a clean part of the banana stem on the fixed platform the machine and clamp the other ends by jaws. Thus we can avoid premature breakage of the fiber. This procedure was followed by cleaning and
drying of the fibers at 200 degrees celsius.

Dying

The fibers have to be dried properly in sunlight/shade after washing.

Spinning and weaving

After collecting fine fibers, the next process is yarn spinning. For today’s use, the traditional process of yarn spinning is not much appropriate because it is very time-consuming so that the ended spinning process of yarn development can be adopted instead. For the spinning process, the fibers are cut into 3 cm length. Weaving is done in the looms as a normal process like other fibers after yarn spinning.

Uses of banana silk

Banana silk can be used as an alternative for various artificial materials as it is organic and sustainable. Commonly banana silk is used as an alternative for garments made of silk, such as shirts, blouses, sarees, gowns, etc. It is also used in embroidery, couture furnishings, and avant-garde fashion.

In the case of accessories, the fiber is more commonly used to make scarves, hats, gloves, bags, purses, phone cases, etc. Due to the increasing demand for organic and sustainable products, these can be very expensive and luxurious accessories. As it can be used as a replacement for fiberglass Banana fibers they are also used for industrial purposes. It is also used instead of wood pulp in the paper industry and it is also used to make ropes.

Banana silk is also used for décor and furnishing that include handicraft products like curtains, doormat, wall- hangings, cushions, table mats.

banana fiber
banana fiber

End product quality

Though it is produced from the stems of the banana plant these banana silks possess really good qualities, which is considered as agricultural waste. To give the product a vibrant look the banana silk can be dyed in various colors. They have high breathability and moisture absorbency when woven into a fabric. These fibers are very long-lasting as it is very strong in nature.

It has the lustrous properties to an extent because the appearance of the fabric is very similar to silk.

Due to its sustainability and high production cost, the price range of products made out of these fibres is generally expensive

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