Abaca (Musa textiles) is a plant native to the Philippines that closely resembles the banana. Popularly known as Manila hemp, abaca has been valued for its strength, flexibility, buoyancy, and resistance to salt water. As a result, it has been a popular cordage material as early as the 19th Century. Although abaca has found wide industrial use, it has also evolved as a material for home furnishings, including carpets, table mats, lamp shades, and as binding material for furniture construction.