Imperata cylindrica also is known as Alang-Alang, cogongrass, kana grass, blade grass, or cotton wool grass is a species of grass. It grows as a perennial throughout Asia, India, Australia and South Africa. Growing up to 10 feet tall. Similar to mint, It is considered an invasive weed because when it has established, it spreads through tiny seeds and the root rhizomes underneath the soil forming somewhat of a dense mat.
It can be used as an ornamental plant, skin creams, due to its high potassium content, it’s also used in traditional Chinese medicines, used for paper making, waving into mats, hats, bags and thatching.
What is thatching?
Thatching was introduced in the late 1930s, it is the craft of building a roof out of natural plant matter, the most commonly used materials for this include straw, water reed, and palm branches, that also function as insulation providing an Eco-friendly roof for their home, that is also very rustic. This type of building has been popular worldwide in countries such as Germany, Denmark, France, Belgium, and the United Kingdom.
How is Alang-Alang good for the environment?
The answer to this is simple, the continuous use of plastic is destroying our environment causing problems on land, in the atmosphere and in the sea. Made from toxic chemicals, to begin with, which causes ongoing harm to health, it is simply not acceptable, if we decline the use of plastic, we can officially get rid of it from the market and live a healthier lifestyle.
Alang-Alang is a natural material that is a weed, consistently growing, and being useful for woven craft, it is naturally beautiful, and when you dispose of it, it is completely 100% biodegradable.
This summer hat for example, is made of this wonderful natural, ecological material, and is perfect for sunny days pottering around in the garden. It is made from only natural grass found in Bali, Indonesia.