No it is not! Piñatex is not a skin, whereas leather is made from an animal skin. Piñatex is a non-woven natural fibre-based textile which, after a finishing treatment, becomes aesthetically similar to leather, while retaining similar characteristics. We like to say Piñatex is a natural, vegan alternative to leather.
Sustainable Natural Textiles
Ananas Anam has developed an innovative, natural and sustainable non-woven textile called Piñatex™ made from pineapple leaves fibres. Piñatex has evolved from seven years of R&D to create a natural textile from waste plant fibres.
Piñatex harnesses advanced technologies to create a totally sustainable high performance natural textile. We carried out the original development leading to Piñatex™ in the Philippines. Its finishing, research and continuing development are now being undertaken in the UK and Spain.
Piñatex provides new additional income for farmers while creating a vibrant new industry for pineapple growing countries.
Piñatex fibres are the by-product of the pineapple harvest. No extra land, water, fertilizers or pesticides are required to produce them.
Piñatex involves a patented pending technology that protects both the process and the finished material.
No pineapples are harmed in the making of Piñatex!
The story of Piñatex
Piñatex™ was created by Dr Carmen Hijosa. Carmen’s journey began in Spain, but her career has taken her across the globe, from Ireland to Germany, to the UK and The Philippines. She worked in both the design and manufacture of leather goods for many years before going to the Philippines to carry out further research into the development of products made from natural fibres.
A breakthrough came when she realized that she could make a non-woven textile, a fabric bonded together without knitting or weaving, from the long fibres found in pineapple leaves. The culmination of her work resulted in the creation of Piñatex, a unique natural and sustainable textile made from pineapple leaf fibres, a by-product from the pineapple harvest.
While you are reading these lines, Carmen Hijosa and her team are working in London. On the other side of the globe, the Filipino farmers are extracting the fibres from the pineapple leaves. The fibres are then sent to a textile finishing company in Spain where the transformation from a fiber mesh into Piñatex takes place.
This is the Piñatex magic
Piñatex™ is strong, versatile, breathable, soft, light, flexible, and can be easily printed on, stitched and cut.
NATURAL & SUSTAINABLE
Piñatex™ is a by-product of the pineapple harvest, thus no extra water, fertilizers or pesticides are required to produce Piñatex.
Various thicknesses, finishes and applications (under development).
Piñatex™ is produced on 155cm width textile rolls.
Piñatex™ is tested according to ISO international standards for:
Tear & tensile strength
Light & colour fastness
Resistance to ignition by cigarettes
Tests conducted at ITTC, Shanghai; The Institute of Natural Fibers & Medicinal Plants, Poland; Intertek UK & Turkey; and Bonditex SA. Spain.
Download the Technical Sheet
The fibres that make Piñatex™ come from pineapple leaves. The fibres are extracted from the leaves during a process called decortication, which is done at the plantation by the farming community. Furthermore, the by-product of decortication is bio-mass, which can be further converted into organic fertilizer or bio-gas.
Both the extraction of the fibers and the consequent bio-mass will bring added revenue stream to the farming communities.
The fibres then undergo an industrial process to become a nonwoven textile, which is the base of our material Piñatex™.
The final step in the making of Piñatex™ takes place at a textile finishing company in Spain, where our unique finishing process is done before being shipped all over the world.
With leather becoming more scarce and expensive, there is an enormous opening in the market for alternative materials, which to date have been partially filled by plastics and technical textiles. The arrival of a suitable material of natural origins such as Piñatex is likely to be a welcome addition in this growing market segment.
Piñatex is a mass-produced sustainable and versatile textile oriented to the following industrial sectors :
- FASHION AND ACCESSORIES
- CAR AND AERONAUTIC INDUSTRIES
(SmithMatthias bags and picture, 2014, Source: SmithMatthias)
Is Piñatex leather?
Is Piñatex 100% animal free?
Yes, no animal by-product is used in any stage of the Piñatex production.
What is a 'nonwoven' fabric?
It is a type of textile produced by forming a net of fibres united by mechanical, thermical and chemical processes, but without being woven (using a weave and warp and weft), for which it is necessary that the fibres be previously converted into thread.
Where is Piñatex produced?
The fiber extraction and treatment is currently handled in the Philippines, working closely with the local pineapple plantations. The finishing is taking place in Barcelona, Spain.
How can I purchase products made of Piñatex ?
Products made of Piñatex can be purchased through the websites and stores of the companies which transformed the material Piñatex into the final product.
For details see Product range – Products made of Piñatex from stockists