ARENGA GUMATI FIBER
is the natural fiber came from the black fiber surrounding the trunk of the Arenga palm tree
Arenga or Gumati fiber is harvested from a species of palm tree that grows mostly in Java, Kalimantan (Borneo) and in Sulawesi (Celebes) islands in Indonesia. It is brown in colour, and it is recognised as one of the hardest wearing natural fibers available.
Arenga fiber is harvested from the Arenga Pinnata or the Sugar Palm tree. The origin of this tree lies in an area covering South East Asia up to Papua island, the East of Indonesia. It is found growing wild in primary and secondary forest. It probably came originally from the island Kalimantan, also known as Borneo.
The Arenga palm grows best in tropical conditions, with abundant sunlight and water supplies along the year on fertile soils. It can grow in all altitudes from sea level up to 1400 metres. The trunk has a growth cycle of 5 to 10 years dependent on temperature and the availability of sunlight.
The Arenga tree, which can reach up to 40 feet (12.3 metres), has a thick, black hairy fibrous trunk, with a dense crown of leaves, which are white on the underside. The tree begins to produce fiber after about 5 years, before flowering. An average tree will produce from 30 - 50 leaflets of fiber depending on the size of the tree. The fiber is harvested by hand after climbing the tree using a bamboo ladder.
Each tree yields about 15 kilos of fiber of which 3 kilos is the very best and stiffest. Arenga or Gumati fiber is brown/black in colour, with a diameter of up to 0.50mm (0.020"). The fiber is stiff and extremely durable. It is highly resistant to seawater, and has been used for cordage on ships. Arenga fiber has been found to fill the brushes and brooms for cleaning floors, streets, household applications and paintbrushes all over the world. Other uses of the fiber include the rope making, manufacturing of sieves, in the construction of roofs and even to reinforce concrete.
fibers are sorted into 5 grades from SP1/SP2, B, C, D and E, with specifications as follows:
- Grade SP1/SP2 - *Thickness* Soft, *Length* less than 30 cm
- Grade B* – *Thickest* Medium Soft, *Length* 30 – 50 cm
- Grade C* -*Thickest* Medium Strong,*Length* 50 – 70 cm
- Grade D* -*Thickest* Strong, *Length* 70 – 90 cm
- Grade E *- *Thickest* Very Strong, *Length* 90 cm and above
is a black, blanket-like fibers that naturally covers up the stem of the arenga trees. Kakaban is usually added to ponds during spawning times and removed with the egg mass for a controlled fertilisation. Traditionally, kakaban is used as a roof cover. Further, it is also applied on the wall of a dam since it can hold organic materials that are carried by the water. It is highly potential for infrastructure application for the enforcement of concrete and as green geotextile application.