2017 Volume 73 Issue 11 Pages 317-326
Okinawa Island is part of the Ryukyu Islands located in southern Japan. Basho-fu is a unique and traditional Okinawan textile made from the banana plant Itobasho. The traditional production process of Bashofu has not been well studied scientifically. In this study, materials from the traditional degumming process (Udaki) of Basho-fu were characterized by morphological observation and other analytical instruments (FT-IR and XRD). The fiber materials degummed by the traditional and the modern laboratory methods were compared. The vascular bundles of the main component of Basho-fu fibers were conserved in the materials processed by the two degumming methods. However the FT-IR study indicated that the traditional method was milder than the laboratory process. The results scientifically confirms that the delicate traditional degumming step is a crucial process in the production of the fine Basho-fu textiles.