Hello season of sun, backyard gatherings, beach outings, and bonfire bliss…
And of course, plenty of raffia. Raffia sandals, hats, and handbags. You name it. Raffia is a fiber sourced from raffia palm leaves native to Madagascar but also grown in other parts of the world, such as Africa and South America. It’s all the rave. But why? We’re sharing the top reasons why raffia is a great multifaceted textile and perfect for summer!
Raffia is water-resistant
Although raffia isn’t waterproof, a cool (and pretty convenient) characteristic about raffia is that it’s water-resistant, which makes it the perfect summer textile. Take it with you on a boat, or to the pool. Of course, as with any ultra-luxury investment, you should treat it with care. But in the event your Gucci monogram raffia hat or Chanel Deauville raffia tote fall victim to the squirt gun competition close by, fear not. Gently wipe it down and let it air dry.
Raffia is durable and pliable
Raffia is a great summer textile not only for being water-resistant but for also being durable and pliable. That’s why you see raffia take the form of so many shapes. From baskets to airpods, hats, and shoes. Whatever you’re eyeing in the ultra-luxury world, you probably can find a beautiful raffia variation.
Raffia is lightweight
On top of being durable and pliable, raffia is lightweight, making it (whatever variation it takes the form of) the ultimate beach and travel companion. It’s lightweight, yet it can carry it all – effortlessly.
Raffia vs. Straw
You might be wondering, what’s the difference between raffia and other similar textiles, like straw? Although both raffia and straw can sometimes look similar at first glance, they’re quite different. Straw is an agricultural byproduct that stems from the stalks of grain crops. And of course, raffia stems from raffia palm leaves. Raffia also has a natural resin in the fiber giving it more longevity and flexibility. Straw, and even wicker, are more delicate and tend to chip or split if mishandled.
Bonus: raffia is sustainable
Raffia is naturally harvested from June to October due to strict government regulations. Each green branch is stripped and dried naturally by the sun. The end result? A gorgeous brown natural fiber that is often used as is, or dyed which is a quick and easy transformation.