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Home textile products from fibres of water lily

29
Apr '09
The Philippine textile research sector has been conducting research on various fibres derived from fruits, vegetables and flowers and has met with success in the last few decades. The R&D sector for instance has been able to find commercial application for the fibre of abaca, pineapple and banana as raw materials for tropical fabrics.

Now it is turn of the humble water lily which grows in slush waters. Fibre of the water lily is now being exploited to turn them in to textile products. Scientists at the Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) have devised a way to spin the yarn of the water lily fibre despite the fact that it is not suitable for spinning purposes.

Water lilies are growing in abundance in the lakes and water bodies adorning Philippine, infact their growth has started to become a menace for the water bodies and this research will help in making use of these flowers as well as provide employment to the poorer sections of the society in those regions with abundant lily growth.

Fibre2fashion spoke to Marites S. de Leon, Senior Science Research Specialist at the Philippine Textile Research Institute to understand more about this wonderful development. She said, “The utilization of water lily or water hyacinth as raw material for textile manufacture would not only help in reducing the environmental problems posed by the plants but also generate employment opportunities for the people in various phases of fiber and textile production”..

She added by saying, “PTRI is planning to launch products from the three fibers by the end of the year. Water Lily produces coarse fiber with high gum content, which makes it unsuitable for yarn production. However, through pre-treatment of the fibre, we were able to convert the fibers into spinning yarn and produced spun yarns with either polyester or cotton blends. The developed yarns are suitable for weaving into fabrics intended for apparels and home-textiles”.

PTRI is conducting research and development on many more applications of the fibre from the water lily which could provide livelihood to the poorer sections of society and handicraft workers in particular, in utilizing water lily for producing hand woven product like slippers, handicrafts, and placemats.



Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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