Manypeople find comfort with nature and prefer to have their home filled with itemsmade from natural materials. Products made from bamboo, coir, jute, hemp, andseagrass are a few to name. Seagrasses are unique marine flowering plants thatlive underwater. They grow in large meadows resembling grassland. The strongand non porous surface of the plant gives them a lustrous look, and smoothtexture. They are durable, rigid, and stain resistant by nature.

Seagrassesare harvested, and the long reeds are dried, and spun into yarns. These yarnsare woven into pretty designs with a smooth broadloom with long lastingfinishes. These are an affordable and durable option with a wide range ofapplications. They can be woven into attractive patterns and made into rugs,carpets, baskets, chairs etc. Carpets can be woven with natural latex backingto enable more durability and to avoid slipping. These carpets can be usedthroughout the home and is a great alternative for synthetic carpeting whichdepends on oil industry. These carpets and rugs can be cut into any desiredshape, and size such as oval, L shape, circles to fit into the environment.

Seagrasses are 100% natural, and involve both ecological and economic value. Theycontain low dust, and non-allergic in nature. Due to its impermeable nature, itis impossible to dye. They are available in various shades of green, olive, andbeige which are its natural color that gets a brownish tint with age. It is asustainable resource carrying hay like scent which dissipates over time. Withits warm hues, seagrass products make attractive interiors. Due to its strongnature, seagrass rugs, and carpets last from 5 to 15 years.

Commercialviability of the marine treasures:

Onan average, a single acre of seagrass can produce more than 10 tons of leaves ayear. Global production of natural fibres is estimated to be around 30 milliontons. Woven seagrass can be used profitably in a wide range of products such ascarpets, baskets, etc. Rugs from seagrass make an affordable option. Non-absorbent,and stain resistant, dirt can be easily brushed from them. Combined with thevirtues of low price, and high quality, seagrass products make profitableitems. Popularly grown in the coastal regions of China, and India, seagrass makes the most versatile and natural floor covering. They are grown in thepaddy fields of China also. The highest concentration of species occurs in theIndo-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

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