A member of the hibiscus family (Hibiscus cannabinus L), KENAF is related to okra and cotton. This source of natural fibre has roots in ancient Africa and Asia where, 4000 years ago, it was cultivated for cordage.
Although KENAF originated in Africa, the modern cultivation is new to Southern Africa. It has been cultivated in the United States and parts of Asia for decades.
Today it’s increasingly being viewed world-wide as a sustainable, eco-friendly alternative to petroleum-reliant, synthetic raw materials.
Two types of fibre are produced, bast fibre 70mm and core 8 to 20mm.
Physical properties of various fibres
(click table to enlarge)
Comparative fibre characteristics
(click to enlarge table)