Banana Fiber Fabric Enters the Textile Industry
The Bananatex company has started to apply the banana fibre fabric in a textile project. The product is extracted from the tree's trunk, and its fibre is the strongest found in its natural state.
Hannes Schönegger, CEO of the company, explained that in the Philippines, "there is a specific banana species for this, mainly for the paper and rope industry, but we discovered that no one was processing it into fine threads yet. This is what we needed."
The company introduced a bag made from the material three years ago and recently unveiled its first T-shirt at the Premiere Vision Salon in Paris. This opens the door to the development of new products. "Weaving is a field that we didn't know about before, but it will open up many possibilities for us", declared Schönegger.
Bananatex fibres are extracted from the banana plant, not from its fruit.
The process begins in the Philippines, where the banana is turned into pulp. From there, it goes to Taiwan, where it is spun, dyed, woven and finished. The ecological advantage of the fibre -they say- is that it can biodegrade in 90 days through compost.
Although the cost of this yarn is higher than that of cotton, Schönegger pointed out that the total price of the materials is lower. "If we looked at the real costs, the dominant materials like cotton would be much more expensive, and that is a disadvantage for us. But ultimately, it's less a question of price than value. Today it has become detrimental for a brand not to produce responsibly."