An Agriculture expert, Mr Eteobong Amah, has called for an embrace of Banana Fibre as an alternative fabric material.
Amah, an Agripreneur, made the call in an interview with reporters in Lagos on Tuesday.
According to him, the banana/plantain stems value chain is a potentially huge industry that can be built on in Nigeria through the processing of this currently largely-wasted product.
He also highlighted the benefits of banana fibre fabrics in comparison to other genres of fabric materials.
“Banana fibre clothing is comfortable and not likely to trigger allergies; they are biodegradable, grease-proof, water, fire and heat-resistant.
“Even if the banana fabric is made from the tough outer sheath, it is not as strong and durable as any fabric like hemp, bamboo, or other natural fibres.
“Banana fibre is a good alternative to all the synthetic and natural fibres. It is eco-friendly, chemical-free, non-toxic and odor-free.
“The natural coolant and medicinal property of banana fibres help in the health of its user and is 100 percent safe as no harmful chemicals and colors are used,” the expert said.
Amah said the characteristics of the banana fibre fabrics gave it an edge over other kinds of fabric materials owing to its natural sorbent nature.
He said the adoption of Banana fibre fabrics as alternative fabric material would reduce the demand for cotton.
“The characteristics of banana/plantain fibre include being a natural sorbent. Fabrics made from these fibres lets you breathe well and will keep you cool on hot days.
“Banana fibre fabrics are soft and supple, though not quite as soft as cotton or rayon, they also possess a shimmer.
“Nearly all plant stem-based fibres are a little more stiff and coarse than cotton or rayon. Its natural shimmer makes it look a lot like silk.
“The fibres are not particularly insulating, they have spin ability and tensile strength, It is better than other organic fibres in terms of spin ability and tensile strength.
“The combination blend of cotton and banana fibres could lessen the increasing demand for cotton cultivation,” Amah said.