Saba, Lakatan, and Bongolan bananas could be considered additional or alternative to Cavendish fibers as source of raw materials for textile manufacture.
In the study conducted by a senior science research specialist at the Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) on the potential of fibers from the trunks of six banana cultivars—Saba, Lakatan, Bongolan, Pakil, Saksik, and Tordan—for textile production, Saba shows potential for high fiber yield based on this cultivar’s low residual gum content. Ms. Marites S. de Leon, the researcher, explained that the residual gum content is one of the major considerations in assessing cellulosic fiber’s suitability for textile use. She stressed that fiber with very high gum content will not be economically viable for textile use because such fiber will require higher pretreatment inputs to attain the desired gum content level which results in low fiber yield. Among the six cultivars, Saba fibers have residual gum content close to that of the Cavendish fibers, which have been identified as suitable for textile purposes. The residual gum content of Bongolan and Lakatan, although significantly different from that of the Cavendish, is still within the acceptable gum content range.
In terms of strength, results of the study show that Lakatan was the strongest among the six cultivars, with mean tensile strength even higher than that of the Cavendish.