African Fabrics: Raffia

Raffia fabrics are made from Raffia Palm. Raffia is a genus of palm family Arecaceae encountered in swampy areas and along rivers, growing in Madagascar, Central Africa and Central and South America. Raffia fibers have many uses especially in textiles ( to make clothing) and in construction (ropes, ties).

Raffia fiber is made from the membrane on the underside of each individual frond leaf. The final result is a long strong fibres which can be dyed and woven as a textile into products such as handbags, hats or shoes.

In madagascar, raffia fiber are used to make Lamba, a traditional garment wore by Men and Women. There is different type of Lamba made with different types of fabrics. The one made of silk and Raffia is called,  Jabo-Landy.

In Gabon, Raffia fiber is also used to make traditional fabric.

Today, raffia fabrics are used in fashion to make beautiful pieces . Here an example below.

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Would you were an outfit made in raffia ???  



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