Ongzi, a zeal HORTICULTURIST,yet resides in a plant-free apartment…… thinks that plants deserved to be treated as LIVING THING, not merely as plants …… strongly condemns any form of CRUELTY TO PLANTS, yet enjoys feast on them…… collects only e-HERBARIUM, and proudly encourages others to do the same……
Friday, July 2, 2010
Nature Fiber - Abaca 蕉麻
Also called manila hemp, abaca is extracted from the leaf sheath around the trunk of abaca plant ( Musa textilis ), a close relative of the banana, native to the Philippines and widely distributed in the humid tropics.
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 filters 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 fiber uses an estimated 60% less energy than production of glassfiber.
The world’s leading abaca producer is the Philippines, where the plant is cultivated on 130,000 hectar by some 90,000 small farmers. In 2007, the Philippines produced about 60,000 tonnes of abaca fiber.The Philippines’ closest rival is Ecuador, where abaca is grown on large estates and production is increasingly mechanized.Ecuador produced 10,000 tonnes of abaca fiber in 2007.