Belonging to the Malvaceae family, Manilla, also known as manila hemp or abacá, is a plant species with flowers. Its native origins lie in the Philippines and other Southeast Asian regions. This plant primarily produces various textile goods, including rope and twine.
Derived from the Spanish word for “sickle,” Manilla is also associated with a type of paper common in bookbinding and printing. This distinctive brown paper, made from abacá tree bark, bears a rough texture.
With its prominent heart-shaped leaves featuring serrated edges, the manilla plant can reach impressive heights up to 30 feet. Its fiber is harvested for its strength and durability, making it suitable for manufacturing rope, twine, paper products (including Manila paper), and sails for ships.
The fibers extracted from the manilla plant are soaked in water before being beaten into pulp to produce Manila paper specifically. These pulp sheets are then pressed and dried to obtain Manila paper sheets.
Manilla refers to a plant and serves as a name for a town in the Philippines. Home to numerous bookstores, printing shops, and universities that attract students and scholars alike, Manilla stands out as an essential hub within Filipino book/print industries. Renowned publishers reside here alongside major print shops while serving as a key distribution center domestically and internationally.