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Technical textiles go bananas

Swatches | March 1, 2020 | By:

Sustainable, smart and fashionable bags are sourced from banana trees instead of synthetic textiles that can be environmentally harmful. Photos: QWSTION.

When designing a more sustainable future, sometimes the solution lies
in unexpected places. That’s the idea behind Bananatex®, a durable,
waterproof fabric made from banana plants. 

The textile is derived from Abacá, also known as banana hemp, a member
of the banana tree family. The brainchild of QWSTION, a Swiss backpack maker known for combining design and functionality with sustainability, Bananatex is sourced from Abacá grown organically in the Philippines. Sturdy and self-sufficient, Abacá has contributed to reforestation and economic opportunities in the areas in which it is grown.

The process to create the textile first requires turning the natural fibers into a paper that is thin yet tear-resistant due to the way the fibers are oriented. The paper is cut into thin strips and then twisted into yarn that is spun into the fabric.

The result is a lightweight and flexible fabric with a high tensile strength. It’s finished with a beeswax coating to make it water-resistant, smooth and supple. 

QWSTION offers roll packs, pouches and other bags and accessories made from 100 percent Bananatex. The white bags are the natural color of the fibers. The black options are colored using a yarn dyeing method certified to OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100. To close the loop, the fabric is 100 percent biodegradable and the zippers and buckles used in the bags can be recycled. For more information, visit

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