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Textile breakthrough straight from the tree

Spain – When one thinks of pineapples, one usually doesn’t think past an Hawaiian pizza or a nice fruit salad. Spanish firm Ananas Anam is challenging that narrow view by designing Piñatex – an innovative, natural and sustainable non-woven textile.

Piñatex is produced from the fibres of pineapple leaves which are a by-product of the pineapple harvest. It is made according to a patented technology based on the expertise of company founder Carmen Hijosa, a Spanish designer who previously worked as a consultant in the Philippines leather goods industry.

Piñatex offers an alternative to leather as well as textiles in the fashion, accessory and upholstery markets. The ′revolutionary′ material can be printed on and laser cut, and is produced in 218- or 150-cm-wide rolls at ′a competitive price′. According to Hijosa, 480 leaves are needed to produce one square metre of medium-weight Piñatex.

She describes the material as ′breathable and soft, light and flexible, mouldable and easily dyed′. Major sportswear brand Puma has already partnered with the company to create a suede shoe prototype from Piñatex. Meanwhile, Auto Interior of London has created a car seat in 100% natural Piñatex.

Ananas Anam claims it is inspired by the cradle-to-cradle vision as outlined by Prof. Michael Braungart. Currently, research & development teams in the UK and Spain are dedicated to enhancing the finishing technology to extend the material′s application.

Spanish designer Carmen Hijosa says that popular brands are now actively pursuing sustainable alternatives for both textiles and leather.

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