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What is raffia? Material properties
What is raffia? Material properties

Today there is a huge selection of materials from which you can sew or knit clothes, make any option for decorating the interior, and so on. Raffia yarn (thread made from raffia) has become the most popular and widespread. It can be used in any direction. And all because it has extremely good properties. How many popular models of clothes, shoes, jewelry, furniture and everything else have been released by well-known fashion designers and decorators!

What is raffia

Probably, each of you has heard this term at least once in your life. "What is raffia?" - you ask. The answer is very simple. Raffia is a kind of palm tree (the name of a palm tree), from which a special ornamental material is made. One of the most popular today is raffia for knitting.

Raffia hat

For its manufacture, huge palm leaves are harvested by hand and left on sunny plantations until completely dry. After the raw materials are collected, sorted andtorn according to a special method into thin strips. At the end of all work, long fibers are made from these stripes. The material is rolled into coils. They are called raffia yarn.

What is raffia is clear to everyone. But technology does not stand still. Today there is also artificial raffia.

Artificial fiber raffia

Raffia earrings

Artificial raffia is cheaper than natural material. Raffia thread has a wide range of colors. That allows you to make products from it brighter. One skein can be enough for several children's hats. This is very profitable. Artificial raffia is produced synthetically. In appearance, the threads are very similar to corrugated paper.

Although artificial raffia thread is much cheaper and more affordable. However, compared to natural yarn, it is inferior. The same applies to the environmental friendliness of the material.

Now everyone understands what raffia (artificial) is. Consider what properties it has.

Properties of natural raffia thread

In fact, raw raffia threads have a lot of both positive and negative properties. Here are some of them:

  • natural raffia fiber itself has a delicate creamy hue;
  • very rare, but you can find dyed fiber (it is dyed during processing and drying of the leaves, the strips themselves);
  • raffia doesn't shed;
  • raffia fibers are strong and elastic (this effect is achieved during the drying of the material);
  • material is resistant to changes in temperature and moisture;
  • good glue.
Raffia furniture

A material like raffia has a lot of positive properties. It is also worth mentioning that stripes are widely used in floristry and interior design. Unfortunately, such an interesting and practical raw material also has disadvantages:

  • threads may break in the longitudinal direction;
  • gets soaked in water;
  • only dried strips of raw raffia tend to tangle.

Raffia fiber characteristics

Let's look at the characteristics of fibers. It will be very useful for those who are fond of such material and making crafts:

  • The fiber itself is very strong, although it looks almost transparent and fragile. This allows it to be used in gardening.
  • Raffia has elastic fibers. Thanks to this, the strips can be folded several times.
  • Also, the fibers stick together very well. They can be glued to other materials with natural glue or varnish.
  • Threads are easily dyed to a different color.
  • If the room becomes humid, the fiber becomes translucent.
  • Raffia fiber can be used not only indoors but also outdoors. And all because the threads do not change their color even after a long time.
  • Does not tear in the transverse direction. But it can be easily torn along.
  • The tape can only be smoothed with water.
  • Raffia fibers pass moisture and air very well. Therefore, they do not rot.
  • During the transition from one state to anotherdoes not lose its properties.

You can also have a good look at the raffia threads in the photo below.

Raffia yarn, colored

Use of raffia

After considering the characteristics and properties of raffia, it becomes clear that such a material is quite widely in demand. This also applies to its range of uses. Today, the scope of raffia is expanding. Such material is used in floristry, decoration. Handbags, hats, baskets, small rugs, and souvenirs are made from it.

Also, raffia is used to make washcloths. Due to the influence of hot steam and moisture, the material becomes very soft and gentle. Raffia ribbon is often used in floristry. She replaces ribbons and wrapping paper. And all because such material is inexpensive and easily accessible. Many gardeners use fibers as the basis for plants that climb. Raffia ribbons are used in any field. They will never be few or many. It doesn’t matter if it’s a bouquet or a beautiful craft. Since we have already said what raffia is, it becomes clear: wherever you decide to use it, you will never go wrong.

Wall decoration with raffia

Great if you choose colored raffia ribbons. Colored thread products are used in decorating a room: walls, ceiling, furniture, large floor flowerpots, pillows, and so on. The list can be very long. Do not forget that you can decorate those items that are outdoors.

Raffia consumption

To knit a hat orraffia bag, no need to use a lot of threads. It turns out that the consumption is extremely small, given the material and its cost.

In order to knit a hat for an adult with a single crochet, with a small margin, you need to use about two skeins. And for a hat with large brim - three skeins.

For a small handbag (clutch) you need to spend about two skeins. For a medium-sized handbag, you will need five skeins. But for a bag of large sizes - from seven to more.

You should also pay attention to the fact that the amount of yarn may increase or decrease. It all depends on how tight you knit and whether you use openwork patterns.

You need to use hook No. 3 and No. 4. As for the knitting needles, these are No. 5 and No. 5, 5.

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