Raffia Bag

raffia bag workshop

In this two day course you will make your own classic summer raffia bag. Perfect for the beach or a wedding…. or maybe even just a picnic.

Raffia is the leaf of the Raphia ruffa tree in Madagascar, it is a beautifully flexible (and forgiving!) material to work with which means that no prior experience is necessary for this craft – beginners are more than welcome.  In this two-part workshop you will learn how to make one of two styles of raffia bag.  The skills learnt will also adapt to hat making or simply more bags if you prefer.

No experience is needed and you do not need to be a great sewer either….  Our tutor Claire will make sure you are familiar with the techniques used and she is happy to welcome right and left-handers to her workshops.

In week one Claire will introduce how the raffia can be dyed (she only uses natural dyes), where it comes from (it is a sustainable resource) and you will then quickly move to plaiting with the raffia which is the basic technique for making the bags or hats.  The second week will be involved with shaping your item around an appropriate mould. There will be some plaiting homework between sessions so that you have enough to make your bag in the second session.

All students work with natural raffia and at the end of the second week will leave with a completed item and the skills to make more for family and friends as they wish.  All instruction worksheets for the workshop are yours to keep.

This workshop will be led by Claire.




22 May 2022


10:15 am - 4:00 pm

What you will need

All materials are provided, please note you will be working with natural colour raffia.


Drinks and biscuits will be available but we recommend that you bring a packed lunch with you.


During all of our workshops photographs are taken for promotional purposes only. Please make us aware at the time of booking if you would prefer not to be included.


Claire Richards
Claire Richards

Claire has been working with raffia since 1993 when a visiting Australian was teaching raffia hat making. She plaited her way through most of the 90s, selling her hats and running workshops, and is the author of 'Raffia' by the Crowood press. Since taking a break to bring up her son, Claire has extended her range of bags and now only uses natural dyeing methods. Her courses at Made and Making are relaxed, enjoyable and fun. Claire remains life-long friends with her Australian teacher. They recently holidayed together in Copenhagen....Claire forgot to take a hat!

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