A little history
of the term: Manila envelopes are called such because they were originally made of a coarse brown paper called Manila paper
. Manila paper, in turn, was made of Manila hemp
, or what the locals call abaca
. Abaca is a plant that is native to the Philippines
, and its fibers are used as raw material for a wide variety of products, including the aforementioned paper
, and textile
The Philippines used to export a lot of abaca based paper, thus people started calling it Manila paper. Manila being the capital city and main trading port of the Philippines.