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New nonwoven textile material developed from pineapple leaf fiber

Global awareness about a pollution free environment is being built-up and people, in general, are becoming more inclined to the use of natural fiber products which are not only environment friendly, abundantly available, renewable, sustainable and cheap.

Piñatex™ is a branded natural and sustainable nonwoven textile material made from pineapple leaf fibres. This product is developed and manufactured by Ananas Anam. This can be used as an alternative to existing textiles and leathers. Piñatex has evolved from seven years of R&D to create a natural textile from waste plant fibres. Meanwhile Piñatex is providing new additional income for farmers while creating a vibrant new industry for pineapple growing countries.

The Invention

Piñatex™ was created by Dr Carmen Hijosa. Carmen’s journey began in Spain, but her career has taken her across the globe, from Ireland to Germany, to the UK and The Philippines. She worked in both the design and manufacture of leather goods for many years before going to the Philippines to carry out further research into the development of products made from natural fibres. A breakthrough came when she realized that she could make a non-woven textile, a fabric bonded together without knitting or weaving, from the long fibres found in pineapple leaves. While you are reading this article, Carmen Hijosa and her team are working in London. On the other side of the globe, the Filipino farmers are extracting the fibres from the pineapple leaves. The fibres are then sent to a textile finishing company in Spain where the transformation from a mesh into Piñatex takes place.

Key features

Piñatex™ is a strong, versatile, breathable, soft, light, flexible textile that can be easily printed on, stitched and cut. The fiber is being made into footwear and fashion accessories and can be used in interiors, furnishings and the car and aeronautic industries.  Piñatex fibres are the by-product of the pineapple harvest. No extra land, water, fertilizers or pesticides are required to produce them.

Piñatex™ is produced on 155cm width textile rolls. Various thicknesses, finishes and applications are currently under development.

Table 1: Piñatex™ is tested according to ISO international standards for:
Tested Property Piñatex™ Original Performance
Tear strength 136 N  (Warp), 145.3 N  (Weft)
Tensile strength 380.67 (Warp), 140.5 N  (Weft)
Seam rupture 299.13 (Warp), 144.17N (Weft)
Flexing endurance No damage after 20000 cycle
Color fastness to light > Bws 5
Water spotting 4-5, No Change
Resistance to ignition by cigarettes Conform to requirements

Manufacturing process

The fibres are extracted from the pineapple leaves during a process called decortication. Then the fibres undergo an industrial process to become a non-woven textile which is the base of Piñatex™.The final step in the making of Piñatex™ takes place at a textile finishing company in Spain.

Figure 1: The life cycle of Pinatex™.
Figure 1: The life cycle of Pinatex™.
Figure 2: Products made from Pinatex
Figure 2: Products made from Pinatex

There is demand of alternative materials of leather which is partially filled by plastics and technical textiles. The arrival of Piñatex™ is a very good natural alternative to this growing market. Bangladesh is also a pineapple producing country. Bangladesh has huge untouched opportunity in producing pineapple leaf fibre product and exporting it to global market.

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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