Creating with Abaca and Raffia

Creating with Abaca and Raffia



Abaca is a natural leaf fiber that is a relative of the banana tree, and is native to the Philippines. It is also called Manilla hemp, though it is not related to actual hemp.

Abaca is considered to be a sustainable, environmentally friendly fiber that can empower communities.

It is a beautifully strong and smooth fibre to weave and crochet.

The world’s leading abaca producer is the Philippines, where the plant is cultivated on 130 000 ha by some 90 000 small farmers.

Abaca is composed of long slim cells that form part of the leaf’s supporting structure. Lignin content is a high 15%. Abaca is prized for its great mechanical strength, resistance to saltwater damage, and long fibre length – up to 3m. The best grades of abaca are fine, lustrous, light beige in colour and very strong.

During the 19th century abaca was widely used for ships’ rigging, and is still used to make ropes, twines, fishing lines and nets.

Abaca gives a beautiful finish for my work, which is long lasting and eco friendly.




Earth friendly, artist conceived and created textiles, bags and decor by Simone Howard Australia.

Thank you for stopping by. I am an Artist & Designer based in Australia. My background is in Architecture, Visual & Fine Arts and Education.