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Lightweight Sinamay is woven of fibers from the leaf structure of the Abaca plant (a non-edible Banana Palm).
Also known as Manila Hemp, Sinamay was already being farmed and fashioned into textiles in the Phillipines by the time Magellan landed in 1521. The coarsest Abaca fibers are used for twine and rope while the finer grades are woven into fabrics and hats. These include Tagal (hatmaking straw), Sinamay, and Tinampipi (fine quality).