Romblon is a type of screw pine found in many islands in the Western Pacific. It grows in abundance by the seashore and is a sustainable resource. The sword shaped leaves are harvested leaving the plant to grow new leaves for future use. Once dried, the leaves are traditionally woven into sleeping mats, market bags and other useful items. At Native Leaf, we create wine and gift bags, boxes, placemats and market totes using romblon leaves.
Abaca is a giant herbaceous plant closely related to the banana. Native to the Philippines, it is valued for its super strong and flexible fiber. Its fiber is used for rope, cordage, twine, marine cable, pulp and specialty paper (hence, the name "manila envelopes" after the capital of the Philippines). It is also woven into textiles and is naturally lustrous in appearance. At Native Leaf, we create wine and custom gift boxes, market bags and textile mini bags using the Abaca plant. All textiles used in Native Leaf products are hand-woven in backyard bamboo looms --- a long process requiring much patience.
In the Philippines, the coconut tree is referred to as The Tree of Life. Practically all parts of the coconut, from the trunk, the fruit to the leaves and fronds are used locally or for a commercial purpose. We feature rustic table runners, coasters, and soap holders made from coconut Botay -- the local name for the flower twigs or spikelets you see on this photo. Coconut Botay is abundant and a material that would otherwise be a waste product from the production of copra, the dried coconut meat used to make coconut oil. We also make napkin rings from coconut wood. Coming soon, more products from this tree of life...
Most people are familiar with rattan baskets and woven rattan furniture --- the classic tropical or "bamboo" look. However, Rattan is actually a type of climbing palm that can grow hundreds of feet long. Highly durable, we are excited to develop rattan products to include in our product offering next year. In fact, the rattan baskets we use to contain our dyed leaves have just now started to break, after years of use and abuse. Shown at left picture are rattan seedlings.