The banana fibre has always been considered as some thing only used in cooking. However, it is now used for making interior décor that is not only timeless but also gives your house a rustic look.
In Kitoro surbub in Kakajo, Bweyogerere, an old-fashioned looking lady ushers you into a room with a number of items that stare at each other in semblance.
Winnie Byekwaso has crafted this cream-walled room with items made from banana fibre. The fibre wall hangings, clocks, trash can, and flower vases breathe elegance in the would-be dull room.
Byekwaso, the business manager of TexFad Vocational Incubator that deals in transforming the banana stem into useful items says the banana fibre offers a chic look to any item. Fibre is extracted from banana stems to make interior items such as fibre clocks, vases and trach can among others.
Clocks made from banana fibres are beautiful pieces that bring life to a bare wall, like Byekwaso’s. She says they are made from a combination of boxes to give them shape and then softened banana fibre is crafted around to give them a traditional look.
According to Byekwaso, bed side alarm clocks made from banana fibres are a replica of modern alarm clocks. They are an alteration from the traditional plastic and metallic clocks to something eye-catching.
Gilbert Wakhasa, a weaver and crafter at TexFad says, old ordinary clocks that are damaged or broken can be pieced together and refurbished with fibre to acquire a new and timeless appearance.
Fibre wall hangings
Hangings such as photo frames and frames for art pieces made from fibre have over time been made by artists and gifted craftsmen.
Table mats and runners
Unlike aforementioned items, table mats are made from extracted fibre. These have a cream or white, tough textured material that does not easily wear or tear.
They can also be made from dyed extracted fibre according to the home owner’s taste. There are shades of green, blue and purple, among others.
Wakhasa notes that when they get dirty, they can be washed just as one washes clothes or any other fabric, and hanged to dry.
He says, a set of table mats that comprises of six small table mats measuring up to six inches each, and one table runner of 49inches costs Shs50, 000.
Rugs or door and bedside mats made from extracted fibre are heavy and rugged in texture. They occasionally retain dust that can be only shaken off to keep them clean. Like table mats, they can be made out of different colours of fibre according to one’s preference. A smaller rag costs Shs40, 000 and bigger rags cost between Shs100, 000 and 250,000.
Advantages and disadvantages
Sophie Nabukwasi, an interior designer at Blessed Interior and Compound Designers, says, one of the biggest advantages of décor made from banana fibre is its rugged nature, which makes it extraordinary. “Banana fibre themed decor brings the outdoors inside your house, with natural textures that usually do not disappoint,” she says.
However, it has an ugly side too. Rags made from extracted fibre are fluffy when new. Nabukwasi says, in most cases, they end up littering the place for a while. Also, are not ideal for people with allergies.
Fibre rags also absorb a great deal of water that make them soggy, and if not sun dried could develop a foul smell, causing discomfort in the home.
All in all, it is worth the effort for home owners to try enhancing their interior with banana fibre décor.
Fibre dresses flower vases in beauty. Apart from the fact that fibre vases are unique, they appear valuable and are undeniably durable. Also, ceramics that are broken or damaged in stores or homes can be dressed to make them more valuable.