The Abaca Plant

Abaca, (Musa Textilis), plant of the family Musaceace, and its Fibre, which is second in importance among the leaf fiber group.

The plant, native to the Philippines, achieved importance as a source of cordage fiber in the 19th century.

The abaca plant is closely related to and resembles the banana plant (Musa sapientum). The abaca plant grows from rootstock produces up to about 25 fleshy, fibreless stalks, forming a circular cluster called a mat, or hill. Each stalk is about 5 cm (2 inches) in diameter and produces about 12 to 25 leaves with overlapping leaf stalks, or petioles, sheathing the plant stalk to form an herbaceous (nonwoody) false trunk about 30 to

40 cm in diameter. The oblong, pointed leaf blade topping each petiole is bright green on the upper surface and yellowish green below and grows to about 1 to 2.5 m (3 to 8 feet) in length and 20 to 30 cm in width at its widest portion.

The first petioles grow from the plant stalk base; others develop from successively higher points on the stalk, so that the oldest leaves are on the outside and the youngest on the inside, extending to the top, which eventually reaches a height of 4 to 8 m. The position of the petiole determines its colour and the colour of the fibre it yields, with outer sheaths being darkest and inner sheaths lightest. When the plant stalk has its full complement of sheathing petioles, a large flower spike emerges from its top. The small flowers, which are cream to dark rose in colour, occur in dense clusters. The inedible, banana-shaped fruits, about 8 cm long and 2-2.5 cm in diameter, have green skins and white pulp; the seeds are fairly large and black.

                                                                                      Source: Encyclopedia Britannica

       The Abaca Fiber

World’s strongest natural fiber

Remarkably have high physical strength properties, such as tensile, burst, folding, tear and inter-fiber bonding strength

Composed of highly biodegradable lignin which is a natural substance, sugar/carbohydrates contents & smaller chemical compounds, that are easily decomposed by micro-organisms in bodies of water.

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