Are you familiar with banana silk rugs? When thinking of fibers used in rug production, the majority assumes there are solely two categories: natural ones, like wool, cotton or silk, and entirely artificial, synthesized out of petrochemicals – such as polyester and nylon. However, there is another kind which falls somewhere in between. Banana silk rugs – read on and discover more.
When thinking about banana silk rugs, their yarn comes to mind first. We can obtain banana silk from wood pulp. So, it is a recovered fiber. Banana plants bear not only fruit but also a yarn. People have used this yarn for centuries. It served as a basis of high-quality textiles. Methods of producing this plant-derived silk vary in different parts of the world. Nowadays, there are also ways of machine production. However, the most notable traditional ones come from Japan and Nepal.
Banana Silk Rugs in Japan
The Japanese have been growing banana for fabric since the 13th century. As these people are very precise and thorough, the process of making banana silk begins on the field. They take good care of the plants to ensure their softness. The producers make the yarn of shoots. They first boil them in lye. This way they prepare fibers for yarn-making procedure. The specifics of the textile depends on the part of shoot which the producers employ in the production. The outermost layer is the coarsest and strongest one. Therefore, the artisans use it for home furnishings or carpets. The inner part gives the most delicate and soft fibers. People apply them in the creation of kimonos and kamishimos.
Banana Silk Rugs in Nepal
In Nepal, instead of shoots, people harvest the trunk of the banana plant. They extract the fibers mechanically from pieces of trunks and soften them. Later, they are bleached and dried. It results in a yarn extremely similar to silk. This is where the name for banana silk comes from. Nepalese women conduct the refining, skeining and dyeing. Thanks to its textural quality, the artists use the fabric in the production of high end Nepalese rugs. Again it is the Nepalese women who produce them through handcraft.
The Advantages of Banana Silk
This special material has numerous advantages. Its fibers are extremely strong and exhibit low elongation. Banana silk rugs have a sheeny, luminous pile. Additionally, it is quite light. The yarn is perfect for absorbing moisture. It takes up and releases humidity rapidly. Moreover, it is considered eco-friendly. The fiber is bio-degradable. In addition, it does not affect the natural environment. It can also be spun using almost all spinning methods. Those include open-end spinning, ring spinning, semi-worsted or bast fiber spinning. Nowadays banana silk is gaining ever wider recognition all over the world.