Abaca Silk Fabric

On Hat Headlines Newsletter there was mention made of Abaca silk (carried at The Feather Shop).  Has anyone every used this fabric?   

Is the weave smaller than Sinamay?  Can you use a single layer (rather than doubling it like Sinamay)?  Is it smoother than Sinamay?  Is it as easy to use as Sinamay?  

Of course my only point of reference is Sinamay (need to broaden my horizons).  

Thanks in advance for your wisdom.  :)



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Hi Cynthia

I recently used this fabric for the first time and absolutely loved it!  It is much, much finer than sinamay, even finer than Jinsin (not sure if you have used this fabric before).  I actually find it just as easy if not easier to use than sinamay as it is very easy to manipulate.  I haven't however blocked with it, so not sure how this would go? 

You also have to be careful as it is much more delicate than sinamay and the fabric can show creases if it is damaged or permanently folded.  The colours however are fantastic!!  I will definitely be using it again for sure.  Could easily become one of my fave fabrics to work with for the colours alone!!

Hope this helps  :)

Thanks so much for the info, Leah!  I love fabrics!  This sounds like one I'm at least going to have to take a look at!  


Leah, we would love you to share one of your creations using Silk abaca. 

This is about a 1/4 metre edged on both sides then knotted and wrapped around itself then stitched to sinamay base.

Beautiful - color, texture, and movement - millinery trifecta!  

Hi Cynthia

I have used Abaca Silk as trimming twice now, I love it and is very easy to use and mould. I first purchased it at the Riverina Millinery Forum from Sonlia Fashion, you can find her on Facebook. If you have trouble I can give you all her details from her business card.

This is what info she gave us when purchasing : Abaca comes from the banana plant family that is noted for its fibres , while the common banana is valued for its fruits, the abaca is valued for its stalk. Abaca fibre has been proven to be three times stronger then cotton. The abaca fibres are woven with silk and then pressed to produce abaca silk. The natural abaca fibres create a beautiful distinct lustre in silk cloth.
The Silk Abaca undergoes three main processes
. Stripping the abaca plant of its stalks from which fibres are extracted
. A tedious process joining the fibres with end product
. Weaving of the fibres into cloth such as Sinamay and silk abaca

You can have a look at what I have done on my face book page Dianne Barbour Millinery.
A red Fascinator with a bow trim at the back and a black hat with a bow in the abaca and orange feather.

You can purchase the natural and dye it yourself. We only had two choices at the forum black and cream, I have purchased more since in other colours.

I hope my info gives you a bit more insight.


Thanks Dianne.  I enjoyed looking at your samples.  Your work with wire is brilliant.  

Hi Cynthia,

I have used silk abaca and love this medium. The straw is a close weave and has the appearance of fabric. The colors are very bright which gives a look of elegance to the completed project.

This is a picture of a brim I blocked in silk abaca. I will post the finished project tomorrow.

How do you treat it when blocking? What do you stiffen it with?  I've never blocked it before.

Hi, I am in love with your blocked silk abaca, and would love to have a go. Can you please tell me how it is done, and how you treat the silk abaca? I would be so grateful. Kind regards. Ruth

I too would love to know how you achieved the blocking! So beautiful!


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