Brand New: Raffia Embroidery Kits!
After the great response of my raffia embroidery workshops, I'm excited to announce the launch of our brand-new raffia embroidery kits! Whether you're a complete embroidery beginner or an experienced crafter looking for something new, these embroidery kits give you a lovely introduction to raffia embroidery. They're a great activity to get for yourself to learn something new, and equally great as a gift for a crafty friend or family member. Each embroidery kit includes all the materials needed to get started, including an easy-to-follow instruction booklet. Whilst being enjoyable, raffia embroidery is also super relaxing and a nice mindful activity to de-stress and unwind.
What is raffia embroidery?
Raffia embroidery is a craft that involves embroidering with different types of raffia to decorate a piece of natural straw cloth. The technique is often found in traditional straw crafts around the world on items like bags, hats and fans.
Raffia is a natural fibre that comes from the segments of the leaves of the raffia palm tree and is often used in crafts, interiors and fashion. Natural raffia is also woven to together to create a fabric, and this is what’s used as the base for raffia embroidery in our embroidery kits. Paper raffia, made from cellulose, is then used to embroider into the natural raffia to fill in the design and create the beautiful texture of the embroidery hoop art. Synthetic raffia can also be used, this is made from a mix of cellulose, rayon, nylon or polypropylene.
My experience with raffia embroidery
I developed my raffia embroidery technique whilst creating my graduate Windrush collection. My graduate collection was inspired by the Windrush Generation and my own Caribbean heritage. One aspect of my research included looking at Caribbean straw crafts. The craft is believed to have originated with the indigenous Caribbean people, such as the Caribs, and was later influenced by the enslaved Africans, particularly from West Africa, who were brought to the region during the transatlantic slave trade. Straw crafts have been passed down through generations, and today, they are still an important part of Caribbean culture.
Craftspeople use different types of straw, such as raffia, willow, reeds, rattan palms, and banana fibres, to make a variety of items, including baskets, hats, bags, and fans, depending on the plants that are available to them. Today, you can find many of these crafted items in craft markets across the Caribbean, and they are particularly popular with tourists.
Inspired by my research of Caribbean straw crafts, I developed a raffia embroidery technique that I used to create eye-catching textiles for my graduate collection. Although not the main type of straw used in the Caribbean, I used the fibre that was available to me here in the UK to emulate the crafts and create my own contemporary version of it. I’ve created these embroidery kits to share this technique, and what I’ve learnt about Caribbean crafts.
What is included in a raffia embroidery kit?
Our raffia embroidery kit includes everything you need to create your own unique and beautiful hoop art. The embroidery kit comes neatly packaged in a drawstring bag made from recycled fabric, which you can reuse for storage or future projects. This way, you can take your time with your project and come back to it whenever you're in the mood.
Each raffia embroidery kit includes:
Pre-printed raffia fabric
Deep embroidery hoop (20cm)
Cotton embroidery thread
Easy-to-follow instruction booklet
"It [is] lovely. Just the right level of challenging"
All you need is a pair of scissors and a willingness to learn and try something new!
The instruction booklet includes clear photos and illustrations to guide you through your project, and there is also a note section at the back for you to record any ideas or tips you have along the way.
Raffia embroidery kit designs
Our first embroidery kit launch includes two tropical designs – beautiful hibiscus flower and tropical monstera leaf. Choose your favourite to get stitching!
Raffia embroidery kit gift
Our raffia embroidery kits make the perfect Christmas gift for crafters of all skill levels! Each kit comes beautifully packaged in a drawstring bag, so you don't have to worry about wrapping it. Beginners will appreciate the easy-to-follow instructions and clear photos, while experienced embroiderers will enjoy the challenge of using a new material to create a unique hoop art project.
You can also pair your gift with a greeting card like one of these:
Our raffia embroidery kits are the perfect way to learn raffia embroidery, whether you're a beginner or an experienced crafter looking for a new challenge. In addition to learning a new craft, you'll also learn about Caribbean crafts. Choose your favourite kit design to get started!
Find out more about our in-person raffia embroidery workshops here and sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know about new workshop dates.