Raffia - understanding fibres December 05, 2017 10:19
Raffia is a native palm of the African subcontinent with the island of Madagascar as the centre of the raffia hat trade.
The raffia palm has long branches that can grow up to 18 metres in length. Each branch is made of nearly 100 fronds which are harvested then cut into strands to dry in the sun.
Once dried,the raffia is graded and bundled ready to be crafted or for export.
The processed fiber is pliable, durable and responsive to dyes, widely used in the making of ropes, hats, shoes, baskets, mats and textiles.
Raffia fibre is versatile. It can fabricated in a number of ways to make headwear and I source a variety of styles for my collection.
The Hampton is an example of a hand crochet technique. This hat is very durable, breathable and with a filament in the edge, a robust option.
The Lennox style below is made of a raffia cloth which is cut and sewn into a hat form. This allows the hat to be folded and come back into shape, making it a good travel option.
The Wheatfields hat below is constructed from a woven raffia plait that is stitched into a spiral. It is art finished with an ombre dye technique to give a subtle graduation of colour between brim and crown.
These three styles and other raffia hat options are available in the Newtown retail store.