THE HINDU

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TAMBARAM : After other natural fibres, it's now the turn of the banana fibre. A group of weavers in Anakaputhur, a southern suburb, have been weaving attractive pieces of cloth from the humble `vazhai naaru' (banana fibre). Anakaputhur was once an important handloom centre, known for its Madras handkerchiefs. Over the years the vocation fell upon hard days and is now restricted to a few families. Some of them own pit looms to weave dress materials from natural fibres, with some government support. Self help groups and members of Anakaputhur Jute Weavers Association are these days busy trying to meet the deadline for bulk orders placed by Central government agencies and private firms. According to C. Sekar, president of the association, dresses woven out of natural fibres were in great demand inside and outside India. Raw fibre is purchased in bulk from growers in Kunrathur area and the Koyambedu wholesale market. The fibres are cleaned in a simple bleaching process and the fat content removed. After a very delicate process of removing single strands of the fibre, they are woven into fabrics like any other material, Mr. Sekar said. As it had an affinity for colours, attractive designs could be woven, he said.

Self-help groups could be trained and encouraged to take up weaving of natural fibre such as jute and banana, which was quite profitable. C. Durairaj, branch manager of Indian Bank at Anakaputhur, said they had extended assistance to about 100 self-help groups in the area, which included nearly a dozen groups involved in weaving jute and banana fibre. The bank was satisfied with the re-payment capacity of the groups and had recently given about Rs. 1 lakh as assistance to them, Mr. Durairaj added. The money would be used to buy fibre and other materials, and the finished goods would be sold at exhibitions organised by Central and State agencies promoting handlooms, as well as to select private firms. "There is plenty of scope for weavers to make sufficient money if they take up weaving of natural fibre with help and encouragement from the government," Mr. Sekar, said.

ARTICLES BASE

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As we all living in a competitive world, new inventions and creation are arising day by day but still all these developments concern to certain sector of the people. Due to the increases of Chemical Industries and Multi National Companies, our own traditional industries are fading; one among them is handloom industry. Sekar, a weaver in Anakaputhur take a step forward to bring back the industry alive by producing Natural banana fiber saris.

‘Vazhai Naaru’, Banana Fiber is as superior as Cotton, apart from being eco-friendly, I’m passionate about handloom weaving, says Sekar. He is the President of Village’s Jute Weavers Association in Anakaputhur and its effectively functioning for 4 to 5 years. Primarily he sells overseas to ‘Real Madras Handkerchiefs’ used by Nigerian’s. Due to the military rule in Nigeria, production was monotonous. He exported handlooms to the restricted companies. When he was 12years, he hit upon the concept of producing Natural Fiber Saris. After a chain of trials and errors, he finally produces yarn out of tough Banana trunk. Currently he creates outfit out of them.

The Calcutta history of Jute on handloom motivated him to develop Natural Fibers in saris. For Jute Manufacturing Developed Council (JMDC) beneath Government of India, in regional office he demonstrated few models to provide evidence of his works. In the channel of his conception, he moves towards an innovative trend, Jute Cotton dress materials. To South India Textile Riches Association, Jute Cotton saris send for model, they encouraged his creativity which persuades eco-friendly behavior, and then local market has extended. All the way through plenty of motivation once more he equipped a new analysis on Silk, Jute and Cotton Sari fabrication.

RMKV’s 50,000 colours sari and Pothys world Protracted sari motivates me, to assume a sari made of 25Natural Fibers says Sekar. He walks towards different states to gather 25Natural Fibers form Bihar - Water Reed Fiber, Orissa – Chevvai Grass, Assam – Remi, Kerala – Pineapple, Punjab – Woolen, Bangalore – Silk and furthermore.

Khadi, Silk, Jute, Banana, Bamboo, Woolen are utilize to produce Saris, Salwars, Shirts, Pillow covers, Carpets and Wall hangings. To fabricate a Cotton sari it acquire two days, Silk Cotton sari takes three day, Banana fiber with Cotton and Silk sari acquire three days, Banana with Cotton sari obtain two days.

Sekar decided to express his creative works through exhibitions to various parts of the country like Bangalore, Pune, Goa, Tanjore and Hyderbad. In Chennai E.V.K.S. Elagovan, Union Textile Minister launched the 25Natural Fiber Sari; he praised him for his artistic, enthusiasm along with eco - friendly ideas. Former Governor of Andhra Pradesh, Sushshree Kumudh Joshi launched the Banana Fiber with Cotton and Silk Sari; she was impressed with the idea of such fabric.Kanimozhi Member of Parliament, daughter of Chief Minister Karunanidhihas visited and encouraged the creative talents. The 25 Natural Fiber Sari suggested to Guinness Book of World Record.

Even though his creative talents to bring back the traditional industries with an eco- friendly way are encouraged by celebrities, media still the basic requirements of the weaver community haven’t fulfilled. He approached government and private organizations for sufficient fund to develop their business.

Approximately the entire village had formerly depended on weaving. But at present merely 350handloom weavers in survival, since each individual has financial dilemma. An emotional sekar said, “Government hasn’t allocated wealth for handloom business, condition sustained afterward handloom would be utterly misplaced and turn out to be division of museum exhibit or literature. Therefore I’m under stress towards bringing back the traditional industry alive”


ENGINEERING BLOG

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As we all living in a competitive world, new inventions and creation are arising day by day but still all these developments concern to certain sector of the people. Due to the increases of Chemical Industries and Multi National Companies, our own traditional industries are fading; one among them is handloom industry. Sekar, a weaver in Anakaputhur take a step forward to bring back the industry alive by producing Natural banana fiber saris.

‘Vazhai Naaru’, Banana Fiber is as superior as Cotton, apart from being eco-friendly, I’m passionate about handloom weaving, says Sekar. He is the President of Village’s Jute Weavers Association in Anakaputhur and its effectively functioning for 4 to 5 years. Primarily he sells overseas to ‘Real Madras Handkerchiefs’ used by Nigerian’s. Due to the military rule in Nigeria, production was monotonous. He exported handlooms to the restricted companies. When he was 12years, he hit upon the concept of producing Natural Fiber Saris. After a chain of trials and errors, he finally produces yarn out of tough Banana trunk. Currently he creates outfit out of them.

The Calcutta history of Jute on handloom motivated him to develop Natural Fibers in saris. For Jute Manufacturing Developed Council (JMDC) beneath Government of India, in regional office he demonstrated few models to provide evidence of his works. In the channel of his conception, he moves towards an innovative trend, Jute Cotton dress materials. To South India Textile Riches Association, Jute Cotton saris send for model, they encouraged his creativity which persuades eco-friendly behavior, and then local market has extended. All the way through plenty of motivation once more he equipped a new analysis on Silk, Jute and Cotton Sari fabrication.

RMKV’s 50,000 colours sari and Pothys world Protracted sari motivates me, to assume a sari made of 25Natural Fibers says Sekar. He walks towards different states to gather 25Natural Fibers form Bihar - Water Reed Fiber, Orissa – Chevvai Grass, Assam – Remi, Kerala – Pineapple, Punjab – Woolen, Bangalore – Silk and furthermore.

Khadi, Silk, Jute, Banana, Bamboo, Woolen are utilize to produce Saris, Salwars, Shirts, Pillow covers, Carpets and Wall hangings. To fabricate a Cotton sari it acquire two days, Silk Cotton sari takes three day, Banana fiber with Cotton and Silk sari acquire three days, Banana with Cotton sari obtain two days.

Sekar decided to express his creative works through exhibitions to various parts of the country like Bangalore, Pune, Goa, Tanjore and Hyderbad. In Chennai E.V.K.S. Elagovan, Union Textile Minister launched the 25Natural Fiber Sari; he praised him for his artistic, enthusiasm along with eco - friendly ideas. Former Governor of Andhra Pradesh, Sushshree Kumudh Joshi launched the Banana Fiber with Cotton and Silk Sari; she was impressed with the idea of such fabric.Kanimozhi Member of Parliament, daughter of Chief Minister Karunanidhihas visited and encouraged the creative talents. The 25 Natural Fiber Sari suggested to Guinness Book of World Record.

Even though his creative talents to bring back the traditional industries with an eco- friendly way are encouraged by celebrities, media still the basic requirements of the weaver community haven’t fulfilled. He approached government and private organizations for sufficient fund to develop their business.

Approximately the entire village had formerly depended on weaving. But at present merely 350handloom weavers in survival, since each individual has financial dilemma. An emotional sekar said, “Government hasn’t allocated wealth for handloom business, condition sustained afterward handloom would be utterly misplaced and turn out to be division of museum exhibit or literature. Therefore I’m under stress towards bringing back the traditional industry alive,”



SOUTH ASIAN WOMEN'S FORUM

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A group of weavers in Anakaputhur, a small town in Tamil Nadu, have successfully taken to weaving banana fibre. It was a chance discovery on the part of Padma Shekhar, the owner of a weaving unit, which led to the usage of ‘Vazhai Naaru’ or the banana fibre as dress material. Raw fibre is cleaned by artisans through a simple bleaching method. Its fat content is then removed. Each strand of the fibre is taken out and woven into fabrics after being dyed in various colours. Banana fibre has an affinity to colours that makes it easier to weave attractive designs from it. The process maybe cumbersome but the six yard wonders fabricated from this fibre is very comfortable and in much demand.  "These saris are woven in natural fabrics like banana fibre. It is very comfortable to wear and relieves off the scorching heat as they have a cooling effect. It is really nice to wear," said Shekhar. 

  A sari made with an investment of mere 100 rupees is sold at five times the production cost at 500 rupees in the market. These saris are supplied to both national and international markets. Although the returns are good, the work is restricted to only one weaving unit. The unit is small scale with hardly ten workers accounting for the entire work force.  "We have benefited a lot from these natural fibre clothes. There is a huge demand for them in both national and international markets. We earn good wages by weaving these clothes. Initially we started off with 30 workers but now only ten workers are employed," said Uma, a weaver. The looms used for weaving are 1.2 meters and weaving on them is a painstaking process. It takes a month to weave one sari. With 750 handloom weavers in the entire Anakaputhur, Shekhar is single handedly attempting to popularise the cause of banana fabric. The State Government is yet to take notice.  Though popular for its fruit, the banana plant has long been a source of fibre for high quality textiles.
  
Banana fibre was used in Philippines for making shirts and other dresses. In Japan, the cultivation of banana for clothing and household use dates back to at least the 13th century. (ANI)