Skip to main content

Abaca: Natural Fiber

Once a favoured source of rope for ship's rigging, abaca shows promise as an energy-saving replacement for glass fibres in automobiles.

The Plant

Abaca farmer stripping abaca fiber Also called manila hemp, abaca is extracted from the leaf sheath around the trunk of the abaca plant (Musa textilis), a close relative of the banana, native to the Philippines and widely distributed in the humid tropics. Harvesting abaca is labourious. Each stalk must be cut into strips which are scraped to remove the pulp. The fibres are then washed and dried.

The Fiber

Abaca is a leaf fibre, composed of long slim cells that form part of the leaf's supporting structure. Lignin content is a high 15%. Abaca is prized for its great mechanical strength, buoyancy, resistance to saltwater damage, and long fibre length – up to 3 m. The best grades of abaca are fine, lustrous, light beige in colour and very strong.

Uses of Abaca

During the 19th century abaca was widely used for ships' rigging, and pulped to make sturdy manila envelopes.

Today, it is still used to make ropes, twines, fishing lines and nets, as well as coarse cloth for sacking. There is also a flourishing niche market for abaca clothing, curtains, screens and furnishings.

Paper made from abaca pulp is used in stencil papers, cigarette filter papers, tea-bags and sausage skins, and also in currency paper (Japan's yen banknotes contain up to 30% abaca).

Mercedes Benz has used a mixture of polypropylene thermoplastic and abaca yarn in automobile body parts. Production of abaca fibre uses an estimated 60% less energy than production of glassfibre.

Source: IYNF-2009@fao.org

Popular posts from this blog

Pantomina Lyrics And Music

Pantomina is Spanish for pantomime, movements imitating the courtship movements of the rooster and the hen. Ang mga babaye
Kung mayo pa nin agom
Maugay nin aga maugay nin hapon
Alagad kung sinda igua na nin agom
Maugay Octobre, Disyembreng sunudon. Ica palan, Nenang ang pinagsasabi
Magayon na burac sa lugar na ini
Magayon ang tindog malinig ang pisngi
Arin pa daw ang puso ang dai mawili. Can ica sadit pa sadit pa man aco
Si satuyang cawat magkudot-kudotan
Kinudot mo aco kinudot ta ca man
Sabi mo sa saco luhayluhaya man. Ang mga lalake
Hudyan sisaboot
Ang pinagsasabing ngarang pagcamoot
Kundi ang babayeng iyo minahilod
Akong minahiling can mga pangguyod.

Philippine Mining Act of 1995

With the recent issue of magnetite ore mining overwhemingly opposed by residents in the town of Bagamanoc and recently moved the mining site off the coast of Panganiban (Payo), I am compelled to post this Mining Act to serve as reference. "Republic Act No. 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 (“Act”) is the governing law that regulates mineral resources development in the country. One of the primary objectives of this act is to revitalize the ailing Philippine mining industry by providing fiscal reforms and incentives and maintaining a viable inventory of mineral reserves to sustain the industry through the infusion of fresh capital through direct investments to finance mineral exploration and/or development activities. The original implementing rules and regulations of the Act was prepared in 1995, and was revised in 1996 under DENR Administrative Order 96 – 40, the revised implementing rules and regulations (RIRR). Collectively, the Act and its RIRR take into considerat…

Churches in Catanduanes

Catanduanes is composed of 11 municipalities, but there are 18 parishes distributed island wide. There are 3 parishes in the capital town Virac, 3 in Viga, 3 in Bato and 2 in San Andres. Although radical architectural changes have been made in many of the centuries old churches. From baroque to contemporary architecture and basic structural changes from coral stones to cement. Still many of the old practices and traditions are revered and observed up to this day. Happy Easter! Vicariate of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Vicar Forane: Rt. Rev. Msgr. Jose B. Molina, PA, VG Virac Cathedral (F-1755), Virac 4800 Catanduanes Population: 42,045; Catholics: 41,204 Titular: Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, December 8 Parish Priest: Rev. Msgr. Jose B. Molina, PA, VG Parochial Vicars: Fr. Allan Martin Basilio, Fr. Joseph Saratan, Fr. Pascual Macuja (Retired, In Residence), Fr. Sid Jose Sanchez, Fr. Paul I. Isorena Cabugao (F-1911), Bato 4801 Catanduanes Population: 9,288; Catholics…

Catanduanes Watershed Forest Reserve

Site description: Catanduanes is an island of 182,300 ha which lies about 10 km off the tip of the Caramoan Peninsula in southern Luzon. The terrain on the island is hilly, particularly in the central portion, but the highest point only reaches just over 800 m. The substantial forests which remain in central Catanduanes are therefore all lowland dipterocarp in type, and are the largest remaining forest block in the whole of the Bicol Region. Forest is found above 490 m, and is estimated to cover a total of about 69,770 ha. It includes considerable areas of old growth dipterocarp forest (reported in 1997 to cover 5,876 ha), and closed-canopy forest in areas that show evidence of having been logged. These forest areas are the source of water for Catanduanes Province. One hydropower project is currently operational, that supplies power to urban areas of the island. The forest areas was proclaimed as a Watershed Reserve in 1987 because of these important function, the whole area is sta…

Wildlife in Catanduanes

Moving around the island, particularly in the remote barangays located in the hinterlands, one can find unusual pets and not often seen animals, some were hunted down to near extinction. Philippine long-tailed macaque or "ukay" are teeming in some parts of the island, often a menace to small farmers' crops. Wild chicken or "abukid" are at times sold as pets by ambulant vendors. The look is no different from a domesticated chicken but I think its smaller and lighter. Long ago wild deers or "usa" can be found in the lowlands and some even tried domesticating this wild animal. But in later years their population had drastically diminished. Same with the wild pig or "opon", a delicacy for many because of less fat and tastier compared to hybrids. The look is very much different from domesticated pigs, mean looking, small and hairy. A dreaded species of Philippine cobra or "haras" as the locals calls it, is found also in the island…