Testament to the resiliency and innovation of the nation is an ambitious project to use the common bamboo into raw material to produce commodities of daily use such as textiles.
The perennial plant in the subfamily of the Bambusoideae of the grass family Poaceae becomes the latest addition to the list of local natural textile fibers, joining pineapple, abaca and banana, which are being converted into textile or fabric through the Department of Science and Technology’s (DoST) textile processing technology.
Different countries, including the Philippines, have been pushing for the increase in people’s awareness of the importance of bamboo.
To maximize local bamboo as a vast natural resource, the Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI), the textile arm of the DoST, promotes its bamboo textile processing technology for the production of natural blended yarns and woven fabrics, as better options to petroleum- and chemical-based synthetics.
The PTRI has since included bamboo in its efforts at nurturing natural textile materials to support the Philippine contribution toward the attainment of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), particularly SDG12, on sustainable consumption and production.
It is notable that the developed process is community-centric and sustainable in the conversion of poles to textile, the processing being one other than the regeneration route popularly known as the viscose process, an open system that is known to adversely affect the environment.
DoST-PTRI identified eight provinces in the Philippines, which are proposed as potential Bamboo Textile Fiber Innovation Hubs (BTFIH), which will serve as the gateways toward sustainable bamboo textile production and manufacturing given the ample bamboo plantation in their areas.
The DoST-PTRI aims to create the BTFIH in the targeted regions to make bamboo fabric available and push for funding of such textile innovations that will spur growth in the countryside.