All of these fibres are obtained from the leaves of plants. Sisal is one group of fibres extracted from the leaves of plants belonging to the agave family. The sisal fibre scraped from the fresh leaves cut from the plant is stiffer and stronger, with low elasticity. It is important in the manufacture of such items as matting, rough handbags, ropes, cordage, especially marine rope (where good resistance to sea water is needed), and carpeting. Sisal cloth is also used to polish materials.
Abaca, also known as Manila hemp, is stripped from the leaves of plants belonging to the banana family and grows mainly in the Philippines. Abaca fibre is processed in a similar manner to sisal, although the fibre shows a little more elasticity. The textile application of this fibre includes ropes, cordage and twine, and also marine ropes.
Pineapple fibre is extracted from the leaves of the pineapple plant in a similar way to the extraction of sisal fibre, the difference being that pineapple leaves are narrower and shorter than sisal leaves. Pineapple fibre is also used in bundle form. The pineapple bundle fibre is finer and softer than sisal so large amounts of pineapple fibres are used in the manufacture of clothing and accessories with elaborate embroidery. Some ropes and twines are also made from pineapple fibres.
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