Banana fibre for fabrics: A refreshing innovation

Rwandans are known for their exquisite and truly majestic Imishanana traditional attires. Now the country has decided to venture into the creative world of fabrics, this time on a discovery mission of how to manufacture fabrics from banana fibre. Bananas are a staple food here in Rwanda being consumed by the greater part of the population. While we consume the fruit, cloth will be woven from tree fibres. Now imagine how the local textile industry is set for a major boom, after the announcement today of the seven-member technical team that is set for Japan, to start the process of transferring banana textile technology to Rwanda. This team is going to study this ancient tradition of transforming banana fibre into textiles which dates back to the 13th century, in Japan. It’s a no brainer, that perhaps this will be one of the most innovative, income generating and community empowering projects of our time. The initiative that is gaining momentum with the support of Japan’s Tama Art University (TAU), who are working with the relevant government institutions and local investors, could revolutionanise the local textile industry.

Rwandans are known for their exquisite and truly majestic Imishanana traditional attires. Now the country has decided to venture into the creative world of fabrics, this time on a discovery mission of how to manufacture fabrics from banana fibre.

Bananas are a staple food here in Rwanda being consumed by the greater part of the population. While we consume the fruit, cloth will be woven from tree fibres.

Now imagine how the local textile industry is set for a major boom, after the announcement today of the seven-member technical team that is set for Japan, to start the process of transferring banana textile technology to Rwanda.

This team is going to study this ancient tradition of transforming banana fibre into textiles which dates back to the 13th century, in Japan.

It’s a no brainer, that perhaps this will be one of the most innovative, income generating and community empowering projects of our time.

The initiative that is gaining momentum with the support of Japan’s Tama Art University (TAU), who are working with the relevant government institutions and local investors, could revolutionanise the local textile industry.

This places a huge responsibility on the initiators of the project, in particular UTEXRWA, the country’s major textile company, to ensure that all processes are duly complete for the project to take off.

Every bit of the process will impact national development positively in one way or another. Stages that if well coordinated, among the players involved, can actually form a positive cycle.

Money accrued from sales can be reinvested in training others on the trade of making textiles out banana fibre. One of the major criticisms made against developing countries’is the inability to develop has been the lack of diversification, particularly when it comes to locally produced products.

And so as Rwanda gears for more competition, within the East African Community, she will have a definitive competitive edge over the other regional countries, especially in the textile industry, courtesy of this venture. 

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