About our Abaca Angel Figurines
Abaca is a hard natural fiber derived from the leaf stalks of a tropical plant of the banana family. The abaca plant resembles the edible banana but has narrower leaves and inedible fruits. They take 16 to 28 months to mature. The fibers are obtained from the outer portions of the leaf stalk. Each fiber strand ranges from 3 feet to 9 feet in length and is glossy, stiff, light in weight, cream colored and resistant to salt water. The fiber is chiefly used in the manufacture of high-quality marine and industrial cordage. Ropes usually used by ships are made of abaca. It is the strongest of all commercial plant fibers; 3 times as strong as cotton, twice as strong as sisal, and a little stronger than true hemp.
After the fiber is stripped from the leaves of the abaca plant, they are washed and are sun-dried. The fibers are than combed and cut according to the desired length and are glued one by one on the cardboard forming the basic body. The wings are made of wire wrapped with abaca fiber and are sewn strand by strand taking care that they are finely sewn to conform to the high quality of craftsmanship. Embellishments are then added according to the design. The angels are painstakingly handmade by people in the far-flung villages, mostly housewives. These housewives can watch their children and tend their households while supplementing their family incomes. It has generated employment for villagers, and the company has been awarded "Countryside Investor of the Year" as a result.