Manila and Green Hanging Folder History
Manila file folders and green hanging file folders originally came from the Philippines through the Manila hemp - the yellowish-brown fiber from a species of plantain found only in the Philippines which is called abaca. Manila hemp moniker started in the 1800s and was also discovered to be a good raw material in making paper products. This raw material is exported to Europe, the US, Japan, and China and processed to become specialty papers.
History of the product
- Manila folders and envelopes originally came from the Philippines.
- Manila is the capital of the Philippines.
- The material used to make the Manila folders and envelopes was the Manila hemp.
- Manila hemp is the yellowish-brown fiber from a species of plantain found only in the Philippines which is called abaca.
- The fiber is also used to make ropes, mats, and hats.
- These fibers were originally used as ropes for sailing ships which popularized the Philippines as the main exporter in the international market in the early 1700s to 1900s.
- Manila hemp moniker started in the 1800s and was also discovered to be a good raw material in making paper products.
How the products become how they are today
- The paper manufacturing from Manila hemp started in the 1800s, however, according to the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority, the manufacturing of the specialty papers which include folder and envelopes from abaca pulp is done in Europe, the US, Japan, and China.
- Abaca pulp is exported to these regions where the processing facilities used in manufacturing specialty papers are located.
- Nowadays, abaca pulp is no longer used to make some of the manila folders, however, “the yellowish-brown color that is now classic to manila folders is reminiscent of the original material and namesake of the product".
How the products have changed over time
- In the 1800s when Manila folders were first produced commercially, they were as heavy as cardboard.
- Today's Manila folders and envelopes are no longer plantain-based.
- To be reminded of the original color of the plantain fiber, Manila folders and envelopes are now made of heavy tan paper.
- The abaca pulp is now being replaced with Kraft material that uses wood pulp.
Companies in the Philippines that manufacture brown folders:
Motivations of the people still using these products
- Papers and documents can be grouped accordingly. It is the "basic yet very important role of the folder".
- One can easily find what they need since they are organized in a folder.
- Papers can be transported without being folded or crumpled.
- Despite the digital change nowadays, folders are still very important in keeping records.