What is raffia and what is it used for?

In this article we tell you everything about raffia: what it is, in which industries it is used and what advantages it offers.

Raffia is a thread of natural origin that comes from a palm tree native to America and Africa, very popular in countries such as Congo, Cameroon, Morocco, Madagascar, etc.

It is a very resistant and flexible material; it is used in the textile, meat and construction industries, among others. It also has its synthetic version. When the fibers are intertwined, it gives rise to a multi-use fabric.

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Plastic or synthetic raffia is a product that revolutionized the market, since it has several advantages. First of all, being made of polymers, it is very easy to clean and also waterproof.

In addition, it is perfect for storing products: whatever the conditions outside, they will not be scratched or damaged. It is also used to make bags.

One of the most popular forms of raffia is yarn, where the plant is already processed. With this presentation, all kinds of products can be made, which we see in different places. Raffia yarn is a very resistant product and has many uses and applications, both for the home and for the countryside, shops, markets, etc.

Thanks to its resistance, one of the most common uses of raffia yarn is to immobilize objects that will later be transported, for example in trucks and vans, also to pack food products stored in bulk. It also has a more domestic use, such as decoration, or the garments fabric for the home or for clothing.
Another great advantage is its price: it is very accessible and in different industries it has replaced other materials.

Raffia yarn is resistant to fats, oils, lubricants, chemicals, herbicides and disinfectants. Added to its durability, it makes it a highly sought after and used material.
It is usually shipped on a roll, and there is a wide variety of colors and presentations on the market. It can be obtained very easily.

What is Plastic Raffia?

Raffia became the most common material for making awnings and tarpaulins, products that are made from a weft of yarn and coated with polyethylene.
For this reason, the raffia is waterproof. They have great resistance, flexibility and last a long time. For this reason, the plastic raffia is reusable.

How are they made? These flexible threads twist and cross each other at 90-degree angles. Polyethylene is a material that resists tension, traction and compression very well, and it joins together very well because it is an inert material.

Raffia is waterproof and withstands low temperatures very well, which makes it ideal for covering and protecting materials regardless of outdoor conditions.

What are raffia used for?

With all the attributes that we have mentioned so far, we can get an idea of what raffia is and its characteristics, along with all the uses that we can give it.

Raffia awnings and canvases are used both for the home, construction or rural areas, to protect materials or products during the night or in cases of rain, wind, dust, as separators in camping, events, parties, etc.

For all the advantages it presents as a material, raffia is used in the countryside, in the textile industry and construction. As for clothing, it is used to make hats, shoes, espadrilles; also for accessories such as bracelets, pendants, anklets and household items such as cushions, boxes, centerpieces, lamps, rugs, coasters, baskets, decorations for chairs, tables and furniture.

How much does a roll of raffia cost?

As we have already said, raffia has many uses and that is one of its great advantages, but we can add another: the price. If we want to buy, we will find raffia with different prices depending on the colors and extensions, whether we need a few meters or more than 100, even reaching rolls of 400 meters.

There is a wide variety of prices for raffia, from $500 for the smallest to over $20,000 if we talk about rolls of 50, 100 or 400 meters. We should not be scared, since to make a home use, we will not need to spend too much.

What is polypropylene raffia fabric?

It is a popular material for making covers and bags, products that are very useful in the agricultural, meat, fishing, and construction industries. To make them, the natural fibers of raffia are not used because they are not as resistant; synthetic materials are used for them.

Braided polypropylene raffia has better properties, lower price and can be reused, which makes it friendly to the environment. Once manufactured, it looks rigid, resistant and light. It is a material that makes the raffia waterproof and does not break easily. It is used for making bags, rolls, fishing nets, etc.

Some reasons to choose polypropylene raffia

  • It is a very versatile product, it has many uses.
  • It can be used to transport and preserve fruits, seeds and fertilizers.
  • It is used for the elaboration of containers in industrial inputs such as coal, cement, salt, among others.
  • It lasts a long time and resistant, it also protects from humidity and high temperatures.

Most commonly used techniques for the manufacture of raffia fabric


The polypropylene raffia threads are intertwined and it is the most traditional method. It is used to make sacks to transport fruits, cereals and grains. They are durable and resistant, they are also used for the mining industry and construction.


These can be divided into two: high and low density. The former are more flexible and resistant to punctures and tears. They are used to wrap products. Those of low density, on the other hand, have more thermal and chemical resistance.

More and more manufacturers choose laminated polypropylene fabric. It is an interesting option, it lasts a long time and it also allows you to optimize the image of the company, since the logo can be printed on it. Weather conditions do not represent a problem for laminated fabric – it is a material that withstands heat, dust, rain and snow, among others.

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