In today’s day and age, where everything from dark chocolate to rice has become organic, why should the fashion industry be left behind?
Banana fibre sarees are not only organic and biodegradable, but they also give an exotic, rich look and are completely cruelty-free!
About 500 grams of fibre is required to create one saree and each banana stem would provide about 150 grams of fibre. While banana stems are available in plenty, the manual extraction of fibres from the stems is labour intensive and time consuming. In the South of India, this is available in abundance. The tree stems used in the making of Banana fibre would otherwise be wasted and thrown away as agricultural dump. So not only does this make a great product, but also plays a role in saving the environment.
Although this process can be done by machines, they cost a lot more and don’t give the same natural handwoven satisfaction or outcome like manual weaving does.
- First, the stem of the raw material is dried and scraped to remove dust. The fibre is located primarily adjacent to the outer surface of the sheath and can be peeled-off readily in ribbons of strips of 5 to 8 cm wide and 2-4 mm thick which is the entire length of the sheath.
- This stripping process is known as tuxying and the strips being called tuxies. They are flattened and the fibre is stripped from the stem by cutting the pulpy portion and pulling away from the tuxy.
- Then, each strand of the fibre is taken out manually to make yarn. The product is then treated in various herbs, spices and even cow-dung for their antibacterial properties which is good for the skin. After this, medicinal herbs like Tulsi and mint are also used to ensure that skin allergies of all kinds are at bay.
- The softness of the fibre is due to the fact that each strand is cleaned with softening chemicals and only then woven into fabrics after being dyed into various colours.
One kg fiber cost around Rs. 200/- and roughly 3 kgs of fiber may be utilized to produce 1 kg of yarn. Shirts and sarees made of banana fibre are now popular because of their ability to keep the body cooler by not absorbing heat, which is why they are ideal for summer. The fibres, extracted from the banana pseudo stem (a clustered, cylindrical aggregation of leaf stalk bases), are odourless and can be dyed.
Banana fibre sarees are easy to care for and can be washed under running water. They do not shrink and the color does not fade after a wash. The fabric’s stiffness, even in the absence of starch, makes it a favourite among masses. Due to the stiff and crisp look, these sarees are widely appreciated in grand occasions and stand out for their uniqueness.
Banana fibre can be used for various purposes such as in textile, paper or handicrafts industry. Relatively higher tensile strength of the fibre makes it a promising material and longer strands of fibres of banana results in more yarns production. The high yarn strength of banana fibre facilitates the blending with other natural or synthetic fibres for production of textiles almost like magic.
Banana fibre has an affinity to colours that makes it easier to weave attractive designs from it. Artisans take pride in its making because of the beautiful end result.
Natural fibres are the next best thing that can happen to the textile industry because they possess several advantages such as high disposability and renewability. Banana plant is also used to make paper, which is stronger than that made of wood-pulp and is also water proof. In fact, it is said that if currency notes were to be made of Banana fibre, they’d last for more than hundred years with no problem at all!
Lucky for you, The Phoenix Company brings to you a gorgeous hand woven Banana fibre saree with a beautiful flower pattern combined with an iconic red colour. It’s style and distinctiveness make it stand out in the crowd. This saree is a must have in every women’s wardrobe.
Purchase your own saree now: http://thephoenixcompany.in/index.php/product-brands/fraterniti/sarees/banana-fibre.html
By Naqiyah Hasan