Raffia Hat May 2023

raffia hat workshop

In this two day course you will make your own classic summer raffia hat which is 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 a simple hat.

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.

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.




28 May 2023


10:00 am - 3:00 pm

What will we cover?

Even if you’ve never worked with raffia before, you can create a hat that looks stylish and professional. In this two-part workshop, you’ll learn essential techniques for working with raffia as you create your hat.  


Session 1 

We’ll explore:

  • where raffia comes from (it’s a wonderfully sustainable resource) 
  • how you can add colour with natural dyes 
  • how to plait the raffia – the basic technique for making hats and bags. 


Between sessions

Your homework will be to continue plaiting so that you have enough to work with in the last session. 


Session 2 

This is where we learn to shape your item around a block, and how to finish it off. 


How will I be taught?

You’ll be taught in our lovely studio by a friendly and experienced tutor, through demonstration and guidance as you work. 


You’ll also be able to ask questions, making sure everything is clear and that you’re getting the best results you can. 


Do I need any previous experience or skills?

No experience is needed and you don’t need to be a great sewer.  Our tutor Claire will make sure you learn all the techniques you need. (These will be adapted for right- and left-handers.)


Are materials provided? Is there anything I need to source myself?

All materials are provided. Please note that you will be working with natural colour raffia (not dyed).


What will I take home with me?

All instruction worksheets are yours to keep. You can adapt the skills you learn to bag making, or to experimenting with different types of hats.


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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