Wednesday, February 6. 2008
Local scientists found a new way to utilize wastes from young coconut husks.
This is done by extracting its sap and turning it into a high-quality dye.
The Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) said that young coconut husk extract imparts red to maroon color on silk, piña-seda and piña while it produces an old rose color on cotton.
“The valuable red color it provides might just be the elusive source of stable and colorfast red color for locally produced and woven organic materials in the Philippines today,” the study entitled Young Coconut Husk Extraction and Textile Application Technology said.
Young coconut husks contains a red extract, which is a welcome treat for dyers who are in great dependence on the non-colorfast red color from sibukao (Caesalpinnia sappan), it said.
This new use for young coconut husks could offer additional income from what was formerly considered as waste.
Then, the husks needed to be chopped up, to get the essence, hence, it facilitates rapid decomposition of the by - product, unlike halved young husks that endanger the waterways and drainage systems because they take long time to decompose.
With several species of coconuts scattered in the entire archipelago, the PTRI’s studies revealed that young coconut husks sourced from different locations produce varying shades.
Thus coming up with the desired shade and intensity requires good colormatching capabilities and adjustment of dyeing parameters, the PTRI said.
The technology is currently being used by Soumak Collection in producing one of their original color options.
The locally-manufactured dyed shirts are sold in selected shops in California, New York, and Asia, and very soon in Europe.
The dye was also tried on bed linens of Soumak’s Bed ‘n’ Beddings in which the coconuts produced the color old rose.
Most importantly, the emerging natural dye industry would run complimentary to the National Coconut agenda as it does not compete with the food and health sector in the use of coconut, the PTRI said.