Banana fiber is a lingo-cellulosic natural fiber, with relatively good mechanical properties. Banana fiber is extracted from bark of banana tree, it belongs to bast fiber. The appearance of banana fiber is similar with natural original bamboo fiber and ramie fiber, but fineness and spinnability of banana fiber is better than natural original bamboo fiber and ramie fiber. The chemical composition of banana fiber is mainly cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin.

Bast fibers such as flax, jute, hemp, and pineapple etc plant fibers are all made up of thick walled cell tissues and they are bonded together by natural gums and support the branches, stems, leaves and fruits. Although banana plants and fibers are available in tropical regions in abundance, their application potential has not been exploited fully. At present company make the limited application of banana fiber, for example, in making ropes, mats, and some other fields such as the composite materials. In recent years, more and more plant fibers were considered to be "environmentally friendly" fiber sources, and many countries are emphasizing the utilizing of these fibers.

Banana plant not only gives the delicious fruit but it also provides textile fiber, the banana fiber. It grows easily as it sets out young shoots and is most commonly found in hot tropical climates.

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This article was originally published in the Textile Review magazine, August, 2012, published by Saket Projects Limited, Ahmedabad.

About the Authors:

Hiren Jaiswal, Yogita Agrawal & Divya Palkar are associated with the Department of Textile Technology, Shri Vaishnav Institute of Technology and Science, Gram Baroli, Indore.