Micarta is a trademark of Westinghouse. It is basically the precursor to materials like fiberglass and carbon fiber. Micarta is a term used like "Kleenex", so it is often applied to phenol compounds not made by Westinghouse, too.
Micarta is a material wherein layers of base material are infused and bound together by a phenolic epoxy-like compound. The layers are typically paper, linen or canvas, or rag (various materials thrown into the mis for a tortoise-shell like appearance).
The substances are then put into a vacuum and pressurized, then cured, so they form something that acts a lot like plastic. Paper Micartas have a uniform appearance so you really don't see the layers. LInen Micarta generally has a fine layering while canvas Micarta has rougher, more braod layers. It is strong and nice-looking material by most people's standards.
My Custom Kydex Sheath page:
Palmer College of Chiropractic
On Two Wheels