Fiber Shop  ~ Working Farm

Raffia Hat

I am posting this rudimentary class syllabus because I have been working for days trying to determine a good time frame (length of class vs instruction imparted) that would give a student the skills to master making hats, brim variety, bags, placemats and basically any shape you wanted with your raffia braids.

UNFORTUNATELY, I feel that there is NO way to do this class in one session.  It would have to be done in TWO sessions.  WHY?  Because, you will need to learn, from easiest to hardest, a three strand braid (MOST know this!), a four strand braid, and the most difficult, a five strand braid.  This can be difficult for some, easier for others – we are all different!  However, it takes a good several yards of braid to have enough to get going on learning the basic stitches, shaping stitches and turnings to make the different shapes.  A beginner can no way get that much braid done in a day (we will be doing the 5 strand for the hat)!  So this class must be a 2 session class, a week apart.

There will be homework to be done between sessions.

Cost of class - $65.00   (total for both sessions)

raffia hatraffia hat

Click on photo above for larger picture

Things to bring to CLASS ONE:

Notebook, pen or pencil

You will need about a pound of fine grade raffia – A good hat will usually weigh less than 10 ounces, but there is quite a bit of waste.

3 or 4 twist ties or pipe cleaners

A plastic tub or bin to put your raffia in, and a lid – get one larger than your bundle as it tends to grow when unleashed!

Measuring tape or yard stick

 Things to bring to CLASS TWO:

Your prepared raffia braid

Your extra raffia and tub

Two darning needles


Spool of strong thread that matches your raffia color

Notebook, pen or pencil



            A.  What is raffia, and where does it come from

            B.  Good vs Bad raffia

            C.  What kind of things can I make?

            D.  The starting point

            E.  The Braids

                        1.  3-strand braid

                        2.  4-strand braid

                        3.  5-strand braid

            F.  Braid length and width for projects

            G.  Beginning the 5-strand, anchoring

            H.  Start small and build up to your width

                        1.  Consider how much you need to start your coil

            I.  How to finish the braid before stitching

                        1.  Clipping

                        2.  Steaming

                        3.  Prep work before shaping


            A.  Beginnings

                        1.  Oblong spiral

                                    a. Stitch, anchor and finish

                        2.  Round spiral

                                    a. Stitch, anchor and finish

            B.  Starting the hat at the crown, with a spiral

                        1.  Rounded crown vs flat crown

                        2.  Sizing

            C.  Different kinds of stitching

                        1.  Where to stitch for shaping

            D.  Turndown point for the crown

            E.  Making the turning rows

            F.  More on shaping

                        1.  Brim styles and shapes

                        2.  Brim width

            G.  Finishing the brim

                        1.  Specific finishing points!

                        2.  How to braid to your finishing point

                        3.  Ending and securing the plait

                        4.  Wrapping

            H.  Decorate!

                        1.  Dyeing raffia

                                    a.  Dyes to use, and procedure

                        2.  Embroidery

            I.  Tight hats

                        1.  Stretch & steam