Since ancient times, a rich and varied range of plant materials have been used for weaving works. Hemp (Cannabis sativa), flax (Linum usitatissumum), cotton (Gossypium) and weaver’s broom (Spartium junceum) have been used since prehistoric times to weave clothes, and later, thanks to the discovery of natural dyes, to signify the wearer’s social status.
Papyrus (Cyperus papyrus) is a typical plant of the Nile Delta and of many areas of the Mediterranean coasts. Interwoven strips of papyrus became the innovative support which facilitated writing and the dissemination of documents and historical facts.
Raffia belongs to the Palm family and is marketed in Sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar, South Africa and South America. Raffia is one of the most used materials in the world, since it is one of the most versatile (it is used for strings and basket weaving, for ropes and cords, and to make the traditional dresses of some African populations).