With the technological know-how, they have made 100 percent pure banana fibre sarees and sold hundreds of such sarees in last couple of years. The demand for such saris is increasing and getting a yarn round the year became hiccup to upscale the activities. According to Mr. Sekar, about 500 grams of yawn is required to create one saree. He advocates 30:30:40 blend of banana:cotton:silk for making premium silk saris, which can attract premium segment.
The utilization of banana fibre would be an innovative method to reduce pollution in an effective manner and to boost our economy for a better world as otherwise farmer tends to burn the field for clearance. While banana stems are available in plenty, the manual extraction of fibres from the stems is labour intensive and time consuming. To the maximum 500 g of fibre can be extracted manually by a single person. Machines are being popularized by the centre for the extraction of fibre through TSP/NEH programmes with which 10 kg of fibre can be extracted. With the area under banana is around 8 lakh ha, roughly half the population can be utilized for the extraction of fibre every year. With the fibre recovery of 75 to 100 g/plant on average, around 150 to 200 kg of spinnable fibre can be extracted from one ha depending upon the variety. One kg fiber cost around Rs. 200/-, therefore farmer can earn an additional income of Rs. 40,000 – 50,000 per ha. Roughly, 3 kg of fiber may be utilized to produce one kg of yarn.
After testing for several years, C Sekar has successfully developed 25 natural fibers including banana stems. With the help of students from NIFT in design intervention and color combination he is able to reach out to more buyers. Fibres of aloe vera, bamboo, pineapple, crown flower, khas khas, silk wool, gongura, hemp, cecil, jute etc. besides banana are used for weaving by him. Natural dyes extracted from turmeric, coffee powder, tea, indigo, beetroot, tulsi and cow dung are used. Approximately 1000 kilogram of fiber is utilized by C Sekar and his weavers in a year. 250 saris, 300 meters of yardage and 400 handicrafts with eco-friendly materials are produced in a month. One of his key concerns is that although the government is ready to give them grants for machinery, there is however no space to house them.