Manila hemp is a type of buff-colored fiber obtained from Musa textilis, a relative of edible bananas, which is also called Manila hemp as well as abacá. It is mostly used for pulping for a range of uses, including speciality papers. It was once used mainly to make manila rope, but this is now of minor importance. Abacá is an exceptionally strong fibre, nowadays used for special papers like teabag tissue. It is also very expensive, priced several times higher than woodpulp. Manila envelopes and manila paper take their name from this fibre.
It is not actually hemp, but named so because hemp was long a major source of fibre, and other fibres were sometimes named after it. The name refers to the capital of the Philippines, one of the main producers of manila hemp.
- "Musa textilis". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 5 June 2014.
- "Manila hemp". Transport Information Service, Gesamtverband der Deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft e.V. Retrieved May 15, 2011.
- H. T. Edwards; B. E. Brewer; George E. Nesom; Otis Warren Barrett; William Scrugham Lyon & Murad M. Saleeby (1904). "Abacá (manila hemp)". Farmers' bulletin. Bureau of Agriculture. Republic of the Philippines.
- Katrien Hendrickx (1904). "The Origins of Banana-fibre Cloth in the Ryukyus, Japan". Farmers' bulletin. Studia anthropologica. Leuven University Press. 11: 170. ISBN 978-90-5867-614-6.
- Dreher, Denise (1981). From the neck up : an illustrated guide to hatmaking (1st ed.). Minneapolis, Minn.: Madhatter. ISBN 9780941082006.
- Ginsburg, Madeleine (1990). The hat: trends and traditions (1st U.S. ed.). Hauppauge, N.Y.: Barron's. ISBN 9780812061987.