Many have ever heard of manila hemp. However, most people familiar with it may not even suggest that it is made from fibers of a banana tree. There is a plant in the world used in textiles and in the production of many household items. The places of growth of this amazing unique natural material, its features and use will be briefly described in this article.
What is abacus?
What is the textile banana called? This amazing plant is called abaca (from Latin Musa textilis) - one of the species of herbaceous perennial plants from the genus Banana of the family Banana (Musaceae).
The story of the plant, its birthplace
Textile banana in the European life entered 1768 year. At this time, the Spaniards began to grow it to export fiber to other countries. At first, it was produced only in the Philippines, then in Indonesia (from 1920 onwards). Subsequently, the Abacus began to cultivate in the countries of Central America (Honduras and Costa Rica). Durable fiber, derived from it, also has the name of the abacus, as the plant itself. Another name for this fiber is manila hemp. About it will be discussed below.
Performing the shaping
The textile banana (photo below) ripens during 18-24 months. After that, the plant is cut right at the root, then leaf leaves are removed. At the same time weak fibers in them are used for paper production.
Separated bundles of the longest fibers (approximately half a kilogram from one plant) from plant fragments are dried and sun-dried with the help of knives. The length of the fibers ranges from 100 to 500 cm. According to their characteristics and properties, they are coarse, but well and evenly colored, durable, hygroscopic.
After processing, the material is used in the production of textile and other products without any additional processing and even without spinning. It represents a plait for weaving one or another household item and for producing original furniture.
Banana textiles are often used for nautical ropes, cables, and other similar products, because its fiber is very resistant to salt water.
The plant material is widely used in the production of furniture, in the manufacture of which the basis is a rigid rattan or wood frame. The "banana rope" is wrapped around the base of a certain shape.
Often, abacus is also used as a decorative finish for some elements of furniture (table legs, armrests of chairs, etc.).
Manila hemp: properties
The fiber extracted from a tropical plant (banana textile), in a different way is called Manila foam.
In addition to the above items of hemp make a variety of ropes, bags and fishing gear.
According to its properties, this material does not grow coarse and does not absorb water. His qualities are superior to regular hemp, made from hemp. Although the second material is more productive and less demanding of climatic conditions. Abaca is not suitable for the production of fine yarn for weaving, and is used only for making more coarse cloth or band for hats.
Banana Textile is now widely used by florists and designers. Manila hemp is a rather exotic material, and very original interior items are obtained from it. Wicker furniture looks beautiful and exclusive.
Products from this fiber are easily distinguishable in appearance: they are yellow, brown or yellow-white in color with a characteristic luster only, and in structure they are smooth and dense.
New fashion trends
Although abaca fibers are coarse, they are very resilient, they are easily and well colored. A variety of exclusive decor items made from banana fiber are gaining wide popularity: picture frames, wall panels, caskets, vases for flower bouquets. Textile banana is a spectacular, unique, and most importantly - environmentally friendly natural material.
The same spider web, a widespread element of decorating bouquets, is also made of abaca. A bottle of good wine, elite brandy or any fashion accessory, decorated and draped with Manila hemp net, can turn into a stylish and original gift.
Now in the Philippines, the planting of this useful household plant is being actively revived in order to meet the growing need for it all over the world. It is a material for a large and successful application in the future. The scope of application of hemp is constantly and steadily expanding. This is due to the desire of mankind to come closer to nature and all its natural wealth. And all this is much better and more useful than artificial.
All products attract with their beauty, exoticism and practicality. This material is harmless to health. Therefore, fans of everything natural and natural is becoming more and more.