Fashionable Pineapple Leather – Know More About It
Are you a fashionista with a passion for new trends? Then this one is for you! Have you ever thought of transforming materials that would usually go to waste into a stunning new textile? That is how pineapple leather came into existence. This new type of leather has since found its way into the fashion world.
The history of leather dates to prehistoric times, with records showing leather being used in Egypt as far back as 1300 B.C. Since these times various methods have been discovered for treating and tanning the animals hides to preserve them and prevent them from becoming stiff or rotting.
Leather has been used for the manufacture of a wide variety of products from clothing and bookbinding to furniture upholstery and other décor items. The Leather is known for being a flexible and durable material made from animal skin, which is most commonly from cattle.
What makes Pineapple Leather Sustainable?
Pineapple leather, as its name suggests, is a leather textile made from pineapple leaves. It is a sustainable, natural and environmentally friendly alternative to regular leather made from animal hide.
Boasting the desirable properties of real leather, such as being flexible, breathable and durable, pineapple leather is a new alternative that proves to be a better option than the faux leather that is on the market.
Where did Pineapple Leather Originate?
The creation of pineapple leather can be credited to Dr Carmen Hijosa, a Spanish designer. In the 1990s, Hijosa was working as a consultant in the leather good industry in the Philippines.
Displeased with the quality and standards of products being produced in the country, she set out to discover alternative materials that were also environmentally friendly.
The traditional garment that grabbed her attention in this search was the Barong Tagalog, a traditional garment worn by Filipino men and considered to be their national dress in the Philippines.
One of the materials used to make this item of clothing was a strong and finefibre made from pineapple leaves. After experimenting with these pineapple leaf fibres, Hijosa came to the realisation that the fibres could be used to create a non-woven mesh, through the process of bonding the fibres as opposed to weaving or knitting, to produce a material similar to felt.
This discovery led Hijosa to spend several years researching the material to finally create the material, Piñatex.
How to make Pineapple Leather?
Pineapple leaves that surround the fruit are harvested and the fibres are then extracted from them. The fibres are used to create a mesh, which is sent to a nearby textile factory. The factory then fuses the fibres together mechanically and chemically to produce a non-woven textile that is both durable and flexible.
An Environmentally Friendly Alternative
There is no doubt that being an environmentally friendly product, that pineapple leather benefits the environment. The process of producing pineapple leather does not use any additional resources to grow the raw material.
The leaves are generally considered to be a waste product, but can now be used and transformed into a useful textile for manufacturing a wide variety of leather products. No additional land or water, fertilizers and pesticides will be needed to grow the leaves since they grow together with the pineapple fruit produce.
In addition, the process produces a by-product when the fibres are extracted from the pineapple leaves that can be used as a natural fertilizer. It is perfect for helping farmers to grow more pineapples.
The process that pineapple leaves undergo is also not harmful to the environment as it does not make use of any harmful chemicals in the production process and has a very low carbon footprint.
Textiles with a Social Impact
Besides the positive impact pineapple leather has on the environment, Piñatex is also the first fabric to receive a PETA-Approved Vegan logo. Additionally, pineapple leather positively contributes to the farming communities, especially in the Philippines.
Pineapple farmers in the Philippines are usually classified in the lower income class. With the new production of pineapple leather, pineapple farmers are given a new income opportunity with little additional work. Pineapple leaves would usually be left on the plant to rot after harvest.
Whereas, now the pineapple leaves can simply be harvested together with the pineapple produce and sent to the factories where they can be transformed into stunning new pineapple leather.
Additionally, since this leather is not made from any animal-based products, pineapple leather is ideal for strict vegans, people who are restricted by religious beliefs and those against animal cruelty.
Upcoming Trend of Pineapple Leather
Pineapple leather, therefore, has all the potential to become the next big trend to sweep through the fast-evolving fashion industry. With consumers more concerned about where their products originate and how they are produced, providing an ethical and environmentally friendly product, like pineapple leather, will change the mindset of the industry from one concerned with quantity to one dedicated to providing impeccable quality.
Next time you are looking for a leather product, whether it be a new jacket, a pair of boots or upholstery for your sofa, consider getting it n pineapple leather.
This way you can support not only the pineapple farmers but the small business producing leather for you in an environmentally friendly and socially conscious way.