An ancient and jute-like fibre, Hibiscus cannabinus is grown in various parts of world, and is the new kid on the block. It is a whole plant: grown as a forage crop for livestock, the bast fibre is used for fabric, the stalks are burned for fuel and the leaves are eaten as a vegetable.
Kenaf, like hemp can also be processed into rope, paper and insulating building materials; it is used in the automotive industry and as reinforced bio-plastic for electronic equipment. With a high yield (reaching 3-4 m () in six months), resistant to strong winds and drought, with a phenomenal CO2 absorption rate (3-9 times more than the average plant), it grows well anywhere that cotton grows, whilst requiring much less water and far less pesticides–all in all, a very exciting plant.
Kenaf can be made into what looks very like cotton wadding, and into yarn that when blended with cotton makes a soft and lightweight fabric with the appearance of linen.
The production process is the same as for all bast fibres, linen, flax, hemp, jute, sisal, agave, aloe vera, abaca, bamboo, ramie…. traditionally by retting and today by mechanised process.
kenafibers.com KEFI u tube movie