What is ...manila, or is it manilla?
Manilla paper and Manilla board are two products which get talked about a lot but it seems to me that most people have a perception of what they are but aren't actually sure what they really are!
Manila fibres, which are hard fibres, are long and strong and it is for these properties that it was used for specific papermaking uses, where are hardwearing, durable paper or board was required. In it's unbleached state, it produces a buff coloured pulp which makes a brown shade of paper or board, which became synonymous with brown envelopes and files.
Here is a typical manila envelope:
|Click on images to enlarge|
The term Manilla paper and board, now describes either a light brown colour or a smooth type of coloured board. Sadly it is unlikely that Manila fibres will be found in either! Brown envelopes, which are called manilla enevlopes are usually just made from poor quality 100% recycled fibres and manilla file board is usually from normal wood pulp fibres. Where Manila fibres are used is in specialised paper products such as tea bags, filter paper and banknotes.