RAFFIA WORK

This is a very simple handicraft, much taught in kindergarten schools, but it can be made very complicated and interesting. It is nearly related to Basket-making, and consists in wrapping, weaving, and plaiting soft dyed grasses or straws which have been specially prepared for the purpose, into a variety of designs. A framework of some stouter material is required upon which to build the work.

As an example: Very attractive boudoir stools may be made in raffia; the rough wooden framework can be purchased from a handicrafts bazaar, or can be made at home very easily. Across the top of the stool—forming the seat—long strands of raffia are strained in one direction alongside and just touching each other; they may be wrapped or threaded into small holes at each end to fix them. Then raffia of another colour is threaded at right angles, and fixed as before on the other two sides of the stool. This plaiting can be done in innumerable designs. Afterwards the woodwork may be stained or French polished. Many skeletons for raffia designing —baskets, mats, flower-stands, &c.— may be purchased at the bazaars, and as the cost is not great, the work simple, light, clean and very effective, it generally commends itself strongly to invalids.

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