Fibers from Water Lily Stem
Most of our users are clogged with water lilies or hyacinths. These fast growing plants are
hazardous to sea travels. They also cause skin allergies. However, the Technology and
Livelihood Research Center (TLRC) found that water lilies could be a good substitute for
leather in shoes and bag making.
There is at present leather and other raw materials shortage for shoes and bag making. Only
75% of the industry needs are supplied, therefore water lilies could supplement the needed
Water lilies have long stems which could be made into soft but strong fibers which can be
used in making different products, especially shoes, bags and slippers.
TLRC gave the following tips for using the water lily stems:
Stems from young plants break easily when dried so choose the stems from matured plants
with dark green color. Get stems with even size on both ends, about 16 inches long and the
Separate the good stems from decaying ones. Tie the stems in about 100 pcs. per bundle.
These are now ready for dyeing.
The present dyeing practices in sun drying. Spread the bundles in a wide area and make sure
that all parts of the bundle are exposed to the sun. Drying, generally takes 7 days. Put insect
repellant on the sixth day. The bundles are well dried on the seventh day. Remove the stems
from bundles; sort according to color, length and width. Afterwards, tie these and again and
Philippine Daily Inquirer
March 10, 1989, p. 16