Marcventures Com Rel Team visits bamboo textile facility
A portion of PTRI’s pilot factory called the Innovation Center for Yarns and Textiles (ICYT) in Bicutan, Taguig, where the fibers are spun into yarns through a series of spinning machines.
Recognizing the economic and environmental potentials of bamboo, Marcventures Mining and Development Corporation (MMDC) recently visited the bamboo textile facility of the Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI).
The textile and research arm of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Marcventures Com Rel team learned how bamboo was used to produce local “greige fabric” which is a blend of 75% cotton and 25% bamboo.
To date, Marcventures already planted over 15,000 bamboo plants in its 10-hectare bamboo plantation in Surigao del Sur. MMDC’s bamboo rehabilitation program aims to provide sustainable livelihood sources to its host and neighboring communities so that they may continue to prosper even after the mining operation ceases.
PTRI Director Celia Elumba toured MMDC’s staff around their facility in Bicutan, Taguig. The highlight of the visit was the Innovation Center for Yarns and Textiles (ICYT), a pilot factory which produces yarns that are made into fabrics. With no intention of competing with big cotton manufacturers in the US, India, Brazil and Australia, the institute focuses on blended yarns like cotton abaca, cotton and pineapple leaves and other fibers that are readily available in the country.
Some of the sample fabrics and yarns that make use of indigenous fibers like abaca, pina, tnalak and bamboo. The “greige fabric” in particular is a blend of 75% cotton and 25% bamboo.
Production-wise, the PTRI facility can only produce 150 kg of yarns a day, just enough to address the requirements of designers, students, and small and medium businesses.
“The PTRI would need a steady supply of bamboo fibers for this blended textile so potential stakeholders and partners are always welcome to explore this opportunity with us,” Director Elumba explained as she showed the sample garment.
To be able to produce the fiber, bamboo is pulped until it separates into thin threads which are spun, dyed, and woven into cloth. An 8-meter bamboo pole can produce about 60 meters of fiber. The process would require a more advance technology but so long as the supply requirements are met, PTRI is hopeful that this program will further boost the textile industry.