Fabrics Banana. CC photo by Flickr user orangeacid

Published on October 6th, 2009 | by Becky Striepe

13

Fab Fabrics: Banana Cloth

We’re on a funky fibers kick around here, it seems! From pineapple yarn to spider silk, we’ve been exploring some unusual natural fabric options. I sent my post about pineapple fabric to a friend a couple of weeks ago, and she pointed me to yet another interesting natural fabric: banana fibers.

Like Piña cloth, the traditional use for the banana fibers was to make jusi, a silk used in the Barong Tagalog. Jusi has an interesting history. It evolved from a Chinese raw silk. As demand rose in the Phillipines, manufacturers had to find another way to make the cloth, because supplies were scarce. It turned out that the fiber from banana stalks worked perfectly!

These days, most jusi fabric is actually polyester and some is made with silk fibers.

Banana fibers can be used to make more than just the silk used in the Barong Tagalog. According to Eco Fashion World:

Banana trees were widely used for making fabrics before cotton was affordable and readily available. Now “jusi” banana fabric is made in only a handful of places in Southeast Asia. The raw materials come from the stem that farmers leave in the garden after a banana harvest. The tree stalks and leaves are removed and processed into a pliable fibre. Different layers of the stem yield fibers for specific uses: the outer layer’s fibers are generally used for tablecloths while the third layer makes the finest, silkiest fabric, suitable for kimonos and saris. Many Nepalese rugs are made from bleached and dried fibers of the banana plant that are hand-knotted into silk-like rugs.

Pretty awesome! I love the idea of vegan silk made from the castoff stalks from banana harvests.

Have you ever seen banana cloth available for sale? My hunting seems to only turn up finished garments.

Image Credits:
Banana. Creative Commons photo by orangeacid
Banana Fibre Craft. Creative Commons photo by phoenixarts

Keep up with the latest in the world of green crafts by signing up for our free newsletter. CLICK HERE to sign up!


Tags: , ,


About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



  • http://littleecofootprints.typepad.com/ Tricia

    What a brilliant idea! fabric made from waste :-)

  • Kim

    Hi,
    I am really impressed by this banana silk.
    I would like to know where I could get this kind
    of fabric.

    Thank you for any help!

  • Pingback: Fab Fabrics: BioCouture Made from Sweet Tea

  • http://www.freshstitches.com/wordpress Stacey

    I know I’m super-late in replying, but…
    I don’t know where to purchase the fabric, but I know Frabjous Fibers has banana silk yarn. It’s really fun to work with :)

  • Pingback: Fab Fabrics: BioCouture Made from Sweet Tea – Crafting a Green World

  • The Bamboo stork

    Yes, I do know where you can get the banana fabric! As a matter of fact we just made baby slings using bamboo inside and banana as the outter layer- it is absolutely amazing! Love it.

    • Carle

      I am wanting to buy some banana fabric. will you reply to me on this.
      attn Carle at jdbell@mail.com

  • Maruthu R

    great to see the banana silk & where to see the product available

  • Satyakumar

    Hi,

    That’s a great story. We do sell banana fibre cotton/silk, bamboo cotton/silk saris as of now 9962400820

    • carle

      where are you and can you send me some prices and such on banana stalk material.
      attn Carle at jdbell@mail.com
      j

  • Margaret Bradley

    I purchased a tablecloth made from banana fibre over 30 years ago. the tablecloth is still in near perfect condition today. I am trying to find out where to purchase this material and also would like to see this industry in Australia, as there are many many banana farms in Nth Qld. If anyone knows how to source this product, I would love to know.

  • Pingback: Looking at the Pineapple Plant as a Source of Sustainable Fashion Fiber | EcoSalon | Conscious Culture and Fashion

Back to Top ↑