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Abaca

Eco-friendly Sustainable Furniture Series

ABACA

Abaca comes from the Abaca plant, which belongs to a species of banana native to the Philippines, Borneo and Sumatra.  Its fiber was once called “Manila Hemp”, which was extracted from the leaves around the trunk.  Originally, the fibers are used for making twines and ropes. It is also commonly used for paper products.

Abaca as a material for Eco-friendly Sustainable Furniture

Abaca is harvested every three to eight months and has a total lifespan of about 10 years which means that an abaca tree can be harvested about 4 to 6 times. Harvesting involves removing the outer layer of the tree, stripping (to get the fibers) and drying under the sun.  Afterwards, it is twisted and made into ropes.  These ropes are very sturdy which means that it can be produced into different shapes for furniture. 

The ropes are very versatile and can be used to wrap around frames in order to take on many shapes and designs.  The use of abaca in furniture manufacturing is similar to that of the use of cane, which is why the appearance of both are somewhat similar.

More and more homeowners are taking notice of this kind of material for furniture because abaca is very sustainable as it is very low cost and versatile.  Furthermore, the most abaca furniture is left in its natural color which means lower production costs as well as fewer harmful chemicals that are found in paint.

In addition to these features, abaca is also very low maintenance.  Abaca furniture can easily be cleaned just by using warm water and wiping with a damp cloth to remove dirt and dust.

Sources:

http://www.ideamarketers.com/?What_is_Abaca_Furniture&articleid=461665 What is Abaca Furniture?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abacá Abaca