Identified by the United Nations as a “future fibre”, abacá is something of a super plant. The species of banana is native to the Philippines, and planting it can defend against erosion and landslides; it can also be farmed alongside other species, encouraging greater biodiversity. The super-strong, lustrous fibre that can be harvested from its stem is used to make everything from tea bags to bank notes and hats, as well as textiles – and, in the quest for more natural, sustainable materials, it is now increasingly being used in products for interiors.
Topfloor by Esti has launched two new collections of abacá rugs that combine the material’s best natural qualities with a strong, graphic aesthetic. The Essential collection features plain colours or simple two-tone weaves, while the more ambitious Dis-coloured collection, created by Dutch designer Claire Vos, plays with asymmetrical shapes, graduated colour and contrast borders. Pictured are two of Vos’ designs, ‘Flux’ (above left) and ‘Switch’ (above right).
Topfloor by Esti’s founder Esti Barnes says that “we can dye the fibre in every Pantone colour available” although it already comes in a surprisingly broad palette of natural shades, from platinum through to gold, blonde, brown and ebony, all possessing abacá’s signature sheen.