At the University of Engineering and Technology’s, Faisalabad Campus, a team led by Prof Dr Mohsin, Chairman, Textile Engineering Department, has made textile products using Okra (also known as lady finger) waste.
Used as a thickening agent in many cuisines, Pakistan grows the okra plant over 45,000 acres of land and produces over 180 million kilogram Okra annually. This leads to approximate stem waste of around 335 million kilograms a year.
According to a press release, researchers decided to minimize this waste by developing an innovative process that will convert okra stem waste into textiles.
Though cheap and easily available okra fibers have limited use because they are difficult to convert into fabric. This technology plans to blend the harsh okra fibers with cotton so that they will be able to easily convert into yarn and other dyed fabric forms.
“Okra fiber is cheaper than cotton, raw material is easily available rather than wasted, its strength is better and top brands are asking for such sustainable products and willing to pay the premier price,” said Prof Mohsin as reported by Dawn. “This technology is not only sustainable but it can make the Pakistani textile industry more competitive with the attraction of more top brands,” he added.