Non Conventional Fibres Association

Banana Fibre

Botanical information

  • Abaca(Musa Textillis)is a non-fruit orienting species originating from the Philippines and is highly favoured for its fibre cultivation[1].
  • It belongs to the Musaceae family, popularly known as Manila Hemp.
  • It is a perennial herb which holds the properties of angiosperms and monocots.
  • Musa balbisiana, Musa acuminata, and Ensete ventricosum are other species of banana plants used to gain large amounts of fibre. These varieties can also provide edible fruits.

Agroclimatic Conditions for Cultivation

  • The banana plant thrives in deep, loamy soil, exhibiting excellent fertility, moisture retention, and adequate drainage.
  • The plant’s ideal growing conditions are found in tropical regions.
  • Depending on the soil type, the plant requires a regular water supply, which is achieved with the drip irrigation system and 1500-2000 mm of rainfall. 
  • The maturity rate of the plant determines the harvesting of fibres. 
  • Typically, the outer fibres can be separated after the plant has matured for 18 to 24 months.
  • On a global scale, India is one of the largest producers of the banana fruit as well as fibre with an annual output of 24.8 million tonnes, followed by countries like China, Ecuador, Brazil, and the Philippines whereas Japan and the Philippines are the largest consumers of the banana fibre .


Table 1. Physical & mechanical properties and chemical composition of areca nut fibres

Physical & Mechanical Properties


100-500 cm


80-250 μm

Moisture content


Tensile strength

529-914 MPa

Linear density

88-105 den



Chemical Composition













Banana varieties grown in different parts of india

  • Nendran: Grown in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
  • Ney Poovan: Cultivated in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka.
  • Red Banana: Found in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka.
  • Robusta: Grown in Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka.
  • Karupuravalli: Grown in Assam, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.
  • Virupakshi: Found in Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.
  • Rasthali: Cultivated in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Mizoram, and West Bengal.

Vernacular names of banana known in the states of india.

  • HindiKela
  • BengaliKollaa
  • GujaratiKela, Keda
  • MalayalamPazham, Vazha Pazham
  • MarathiKela, Kel
  • OriyaChampa Kadali, Kadali
  • KannadaBale Hannu
  • KonkaniKellin
  • PunjabiKella, Kela
  • TamilVazhaikkai, Vazha Pazham
  • TeluguArati Pandu

Chart 2. Names of banana in vernacular languages of India.

Features of fibres

  • Banana fibres are durable, light in weight, have smaller elongation and possess high strength qualities.
  • It has fire resistance quality and also has moisture absorption ability.
  • It is biodegradable and eco-friendly.
  • The sheerness and spinnability is superior to bamboo and ramie filament.

Typical uses

  • In Japan’s Edo duration, the kimonos and kaishimos were made out of banana fibres.
  • Also, the Yen currency note of Japan is made of these fibres.
  • In Africa, many people have used banana fibres to make carpets, mats, hair extensions, etc. 
  • Products like sanitary pads, baskets, paper, ropes, mats, and other textile and home furnishing materials are made from fibres. 
  • Fishing nets, varieties of cordages, and packaging sheets are also produced using these fibres.
  • It works as an organic absorbent; thus, it is used in oil refineries to soak the spilling oil.
  • The stem holds a large quantity of cellulose and starch and is used as cattle feed.
  • Since these fibres are seawater-resistant, they are used to make shipping cables.
  • In Costa Rica, the banana pseudo stem is going through an industrial process that manufactures notepads, cardboard, envelopes, packaging material, notebooks, etc.