One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(in Mexico and Central America) a plant fibre used for cordage, nets, and carpets.
This fibre is obtained chiefly from Agave species (family Agavaceae), in particular A. funkiana and A. lecheguilla
- ‘Vegetable fibers are composed chiefly of cellulose and may be classed as short fibers, e.g., cotton and kapok; or long fibers, including flax, hemp, Manila hemp, istle, ramie, sisal hemp, and Spanish moss.’
- ‘This is a stiff fibre, yet Aztec techniques for the spinning and weaving of ixtle were capable of producing flexible and delicate cloth.’
- ‘Pita is another maguey fiber, finer than ixtle, used to create fancy trim on the edges of leather work.’
- ‘Craftsman José Isabel Quiroz learned how to weave ixtle from his father, who still works with him.’
Late 19th century: via American Spanish from Nahuatl ixtli.
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