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Sisal Fiber Processing - Sotuta De Peon, Yucatan

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  • 6 years ago
Visit http://www.phenomenalplace.com to check out great information about mysterious and fantastic places on earth. These were the machines used a hundred years ago in the Haciendas to process Sisal (or henequen). From start to finish, there are three important areas. They are:


Once the henequen leaves are cut in the fields, they are gathered into man-sized bundles and moved by mule driven trucks to the machine house. Here, the sisal leaves are loaded on an elevator apparatus or conveyer lift, to be taken up one story to the waiting workers who place them on a conveyor belt. Here the leaves are separated and fed into the 'scrapper machine' that shreds them into the raw fibers. The scrapper machine in Sotuta de Peon is well over 100 years old, and has the capacity of processing of over 12,000 leaves in an hour. The machine house operates six days per week and in addition to processing henequén leaves grown within Hacienda Sotuta de Peon, they also process the leaves of peasant farmers throughout the region.


From the machine house the henequén fiber is then moved to be dried outside in the sun. Once the fiber is completely dry, it is then fed into the 'bummer press' where the strands are pressed under great pressure into huge bails. The skilled workers pay close attention to the amount of dried fiber being fed into the press to get the desired size. Once the press operation is complete the bails are then tied with rope made daily by the workers of Sotuta de Peon and the process is then completed. Each bail is moved out of the bummer press and rolled into position to be loaded by thin rails onto the waiting truck, where it is taken to market in Merida several times per week. These bails weigh about 375 pounds or 180 kilos .


The dry fiber "sosquil" that is not sent in huge bails to the market in Merida, is transported by truck once again to the finished goods plant (corchería), where it is then processed and transformed into various end products such as ropes, sacks, yarn, handbags and rugs. The "corchería" can even produce a rope of a very thick gauge which is used for marine purposes. The process begins with the combing machines where the dry fiber is unraveled, smoothed and then fed into the spinning machine, where it's once course fiber is wound into a finer quality of yarn. The fiber is also utilized in the rope making machine where ropes of various strands are made according to the specifications required. When used on the loom, the fiber can be woven into a course cloth for many purposes. There is yet another machine in the finished goods plant (corchería) which is very useful for the manufacturing of burlap sacks, used to store condiments, grains etc. Finally, there is also a "spooler" machine, which bundles the ropes into spheres for easy handling and transportation.
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