Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Until recently, a mystery exists as to why these brown envelopes are called Manila envelopes in other parts of the world except in The Philippines.
Manila envelopes (Manila folder or Manila paper) take their name from the fiber called abacá or more popularly known as the Manila hemp.
Scientifically called as Musa textilis, abacá is a species of banana native to the Philippines. The fiber was originally used as components for making ropes.
Currently, abacá is being use to make different paper based products.
The Philippines produces over 80% of the world's abacá. Aside from the Philippines, only Ecuador and Costa Rica produces abacá after the plant was brought to Central America in the late 1920's.
So the next time you ask for a Manila envelope, its not just because a great majority of Manileños are “brown” colored people, it’s because of the historical background on the use of Manila abacá in manufacturing these envelopes.