Natural Craft of Kerala

The natural fibers that are woven in Kerala include banana stem, sisal, aloe, screw pine and pineapple. The products made are tablemats and bags in different shapes and sizes. Banana fibre was also once used to make saris called near pattu, which is no longer being done. The extraction of yarn begins with retting, decortication and scotching - processes that are employed to seperate the fibres from the shoots, leaves of roots of plants and trees. Tools used include scissors, Needles, Nail frames and the Frame looms The process may be manual as in the extraction of banana fibre or mechanical as in that of sisal fibre. Once extracted, the fibre is graded to ensure quality control and then usually carded and plaited to create the final products. The fibres may be dyed to generate specific visual impact; the current interest in eco friendly products has created a potentially huge export market for vegetable dyed natural fibre products. Local demand for these products is generally restricted to the season of the Sabarimalai pilgrimage and the many temple and church festivals. Production centers are Chertala in Alappuzha district; Anavoor, SreeKariyam, Neyyattinkara, Nediyamcode , Perumkadavila and Parassala in Thiruvananthpuram districtTools

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