The abaca tree, a banana palm native to the Philippines, has been grown for centuries as textile fibre and this for several good reasons.
Abaca fibre is long-lasting and more sustainable with low impact on environment than many other weaving fibers. Especially for hat making it is used as a woven fabric, mostly a blend of silk or cotton with abaca fibre, which combination gives a unique sheen and vibrant colour. This supple yet strong fabric is ideal for free-shaping and draped styles. Personally, I love to use it for turbans and headbands. It is lightweight and flexible, holding shape beautifully while still retaining its softness. And it comes in a lot of wonderful, inspiring colours.
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