What is the history and origin of kenaf fiber?
• The history of kenaf fiber cultivation goes back to around 3500 BC in the agricultural region of Western Africa i.e. Nuclear Mande. The cultivation is believed to have emerged without any influence from the Egyptian farming.
• The cultivation of kenaf is said to have originated in Egypt around 5000 BC, although the exact origin of kenaf is yet not clearly available.
• The three major areas in Africa known for the cultivation of kenaf are: 1. Niger and Bani valleys 2. Tanzania (it is believed that the cultivation of kenaf in Nuclear Mande was influenced from this region) 3. Angolan territory.
• The kenaf fabric was used by the Egyptians to make boat sails and other textiles.
• Kenaf has been cultivated in India for about 200 years. Although the production of kenaf began in Russia and China in 1902 and 1935 respectively. But western Europe remained abandoned from this crop for a long time. The kenaf fabric emerged and gained the much-needed popularity during the second world war as a sacking fiber and as a substitute to jute as a cordage material in the war zone.
• Thus, the production of kenaf fabric began in full swing in the United States, Mexico and other countries during the second world war and kenaf emerged out of fiber that is closely related to jute.