Raffia fiber is made from the veins of the leaves of the Raphia taedigera species. Raffia palms (Raphia) are a family of palm trees native to tropical regions in Africa, especially Madagascar. One of the species of raffia palms also occur in Central and South America.


Explore crafts & makers with Material: Raffia

Kuba raffia cloth © CC-BY Brooklyn Museum

Kuba textiles


Kuba textiles are elaborate embroidered cloth made of raffia fiber, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They are unique in their elaboration and complexity of design and surface decoration. Most textiles are a variation on rectangular or square pieces of woven raffia fiber enhanced by geometric designs executed in linear embroidery in flat-stitch and cut-pile stitching, the latter creating surfaces resembling velvet.