Updated: Jul 4, 2020
The people of the Kuba kingdom, originating from South Central Africa, which is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, is the birthplace of the Raffia cloth.
The Kuba people create this textile by weaving palm fibre from Raffia Vinifera palm trees by stripping the leaves and leaving them out in the sun to dry. After the drying process, the fibres are softened by beating and then are further stripped into sections which are then rolled over their thighs into threads to be woven.
The Raffia is a sturdy, multi-purpose fabric as it is used for other items other than clothing such as baskets, bags and furniture upholstery. With bold earthy tones and intricate designs, embroidery and embellishments, this fabric has become an international design trend.