Raffia Summer Hat Design Experience

Today I would like to share with you my recent adventure creating my new collection of women’s summer hats! As someone with fair skin I am particularly sensitive to strong Australian sun so when I was thinking how to approach my new collection I knew it had to be something beautiful of course but also practical. The material above all needed to be lightweight yet durable enough for repeated use at the beach, for a picnic or even just in the garden, drinking a cup of tea of course!

That is when I discovered Raffia and immediately I was in love! Raffia is a natural fibre that comes from palm trees that are native to Madagascar (but I buy it in the store). Raffia palm is a special plant in nature with leaves growing to up to 25 metres, the longest in the plant kingdom. Apart from its sturdy quality (Raffia has been used in a variety of ways from furniture to simple gardening twine) it is also sustainable. As a natural fibre I find Raffia to also be incredibly easy to work with and it is a joy to use it in my hats. I find that the slightly rough quality of the fibres add texture to my designs and give my hats a slight air of mystery, a taste of Africa.

Each of my Raffia summer hats is crocheted by me by hand, a labor of love. I particularly enjoy using this technique to explore patterns that speak to me also of Moorish architecture and Moroccan tiles. The repeating patterns taking the mind’s eye or entertaining the summer sun flickering in an adjacent pool of water. All these things I find in my hats in this season of creation.

I am particularly excited to share this design experience with you as I experiment with this new style.

See all my summer hats here.

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