Banana fibre, also known as musa fibre is one of the world’s strongest natural fibres. Biodegradable, the natural fibre is made from the stem of the banana tree and is incredibly durable. The fibre consists of thick-walled cell tissue, bonded together by natural gums and is mainly composed of cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin. Banana fibre is similar to natural bamboo fibre, but its spin ability, fineness and tensile strength are said to be better. Banana fibre can be used to make a number of different textiles with different weights and thicknesses, based on what part of the banana stem the fibre was extracted from. The thicker, sturdier fibres are taken from the banana trees outer sheaths, whereas the inner sheaths result in softer fibres.
Banana fibres can be used to make ropes, mats, woven fabrics as well as handmade papers. One company based on the island of Kosrae, Micronesia, named Green Banana Paper, is using banana fibre to make vegan wallets, purses, beads and paper. Founded by Matt Simpson, the Green Banana Paper produces locally, making its products out of recycled banana stems which grow all around the island. Rather than letting banana trees go to waste, the company purchases banana stems from banana farmers, giving them an extra source of income.