Raffia, Ribbons & Bows, Oh My!

In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy uses a gingham hair bow to pull back her hair into pigtails. Today, I believe a modern Dorothy would choose a more environmentally friendly way to tie her hair. Perhaps she’d even go as far as using a natural ribbon like raffia.
Raffia Ribbon

What Is Raffia?


Raffia is made from the dried palm leaves of the raffia plant. In its natural state, dried raffia is colorless, it’s only the addition of water-based inks that give raffia ribbon its matte or shimmering pearlescent colors. The finished string has a smooth, almost waxy texture, and it quickly breaks down into organic materials when exposed to the elements in a landfill.

Even more remarkable, raffia has amazing tensile strength for a plant-based fiber. Although, I doubt you’d ever want to go rock climbing with raffia as your lifeline rope!

What Is Raffia Used For?


Raffia is best used when you’re trying to present a natural, or rustic look for a gift without using ribbons as a decorative accent. Since it’s a biodegradable material, raffia is also a popular option for stores staking their credibility on an environmentally responsible image.

Photo credit Norsenut

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