Many people find comfort with nature and prefer to have their home filled with items made from natural materials. Products made from bamboo, coir, jute, hemp, and seagrass are a few to name. Seagrasses are unique marine flowering plants that live underwater. They grow in large meadows resembling grassland. The strong and non porous surface of the plant gives them a lustrous look, and smooth texture. They are durable, rigid, and stain resistant by nature.
Seagrasses are harvested, and the long reeds are dried, and spun into yarns. These yarns are woven into pretty designs with a smooth broadloom with long lasting finishes. These are an affordable and durable option with a wide range of applications. They can be woven into attractive patterns and made into rugs, carpets, baskets, chairs etc. Carpets can be woven with natural latex backing to enable more durability and to avoid slipping. These carpets can be used throughout the home and is a great alternative for synthetic carpeting which depends on oil industry. These carpets and rugs can be cut into any desired shape, and size such as oval, L shape, circles to fit into the environment.
Sea grasses are 100% natural, and involve both ecological and economic value. They contain low dust, and non-allergic in nature. Due to its impermeable nature, it is impossible to dye. They are available in various shades of green, olive, and beige which are its natural color that gets a brownish tint with age. It is a sustainable resource carrying hay like scent which dissipates over time. With its warm hues, seagrass products make attractive interiors. Due to its strong nature, seagrass rugs, and carpets last from 5 to 15 years.
Commercial viability of the marine treasures:
On an average, a single acre of seagrass can produce more than 10 tons of leaves a year. Global production of natural fibres is estimated to be around 30 million tons. Woven seagrass can be used profitably in a wide range of products such as carpets, baskets, etc. Rugs from seagrass make an affordable option. Non-absorbent, and stain resistant, dirt can be easily brushed from them. Combined with the virtues of low price, and high quality, seagrass products make profitable items. Popularly grown in the coastal regions of China, and India, seagrass makes the most versatile and natural floor covering. They are grown in the paddy fields of China also. The highest concentration of species occurs in the Indo-West Pacific region.
Seagrass fibres make an important component for clothing, upholstery, and many other textiles. They contribute to a greener environment, and generate employment opportunities to many people. Seagrasses are also labeled as ecosystem engineers. One square meter of seagrass produces up to 10 litres of oxygen per day. They provide fishing grounds, oxygen production, wave protection, and coastal erosion protection. Oceans absorb 25% of the total global carbon emissions. Seagrass meadows account for 15% of the oceans total carbon storage. Seagrass fibres make interesting products having a life of their own.
Bangladesh Textile Today, March-April_2010
Seagrass Educators Handbook, Len McKenzie, Feb 2008