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Now stems of saluyot being rich source of natural fibers
Aug '09
From delectable food to haute couture, saluyot, like pineapple and banana, can be a source of natural fiber for chic apparels.

Researchers have recognized the importance of banana leaf sheaths and pineapple leaves in producing cloth of exportable quality. Now comes saluyot stems.

The Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) has developed new sets of earth-friendly, fiber-blended yarns from polyester and stems of saluyot (Corchorus olitorius.), being a rich source of natural fibers.

PTRI director, Dr. Carlos C. Tomboc, stressed the Institute's focus on studying nontraditional tropical fiber sources such as maguey (Agave cantala Roxb.), water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), and saluyot in addition to abaca (Musa textiles Nee), anabo (Abroma augusta Linn.), banana (Musa sapientum), kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.), pineapple (Ananas comosus Linn.), and ramie (Boehmeria nivea L.), which PTRI has studied. The Institute is pushing for the use of fiber-rich plants in textile production to support the local industry in reducing its import of synthetic-based fibers from other countries.

PTRI's research trials show that saluyot stems when soaked in water for 21 to 24 days could yield at least 5 percent fibers. Spinning the treated fibers with polyester produced 80/20, 70/30, and 60/40 polyester/saluyot with yarn counts of 25–29 Ne, which when woven, can produce fine, smooth, and blemish-free fabrics ideal for manufacturing garments.

Blends of saluyot and polyester fabrics can also be made into home textiles such as curtains/drapes, beddings, table runners and linens as well as raw material for nets, ropes, and other farm gears. In some countries, saluyot fabric is used as geotextile to prevent soil erosion and landslides.

PTRI continues its research trials in spinning saluyot fiber with cotton to increase the all-natural fiber component in producing saluyot fabric or burlap. According to PTRI researchers, other tests will also be performed to determine the ability of the fabric to resist deformation and the textile surface to resist wear by friction and other standard procedures to assure the product's quality.

The United Nations (UN) General Assembly declared 2009 as the International Year of Natural Fibres and has chosen saluyot as one of the 15 of the world's major natural fibers. PTRI is one with the UN in recognizing saluyot fiber's potential in apparel, home, industrial, and geotextile applications.

Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) is the lead agency of the Department of Science and Technology in textile research and development. The Institute is dedicated to transferring technologies and rendering technical services, promoting the use of indigenous resources, and developing technical competence in textile production and quality assurance.

Department of Science and Technology

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