14 Dec2005

Stunning Buri/Raffia

by Marketman

Another discovery at the Bohol Bee Farm were these terrific handwoven aburi1buri/raffia fabrics made from fiber of the buri palm tree. A huge palm tree, the buri palm is the source of three natural fibers: buri, raffia and buntal, according to the Philippine government Dept. of Agriculture website. The fibers are then dyed and in some cases, woven on a loom. Buntal was also well know as a hat material in the 1960’s and 70’s. What struck me about this buri fabric were the stunning color combinations. Sometimes I am at odds with the color combinations used in our local crafts and textiles (not always)…but in this case the color combinations were noticeably different. You could almost see them in a European textile catalogue but interpreted in local materials…

At PHP100 a meter, I considered this tremendous value aburi2considering the amount of work necessary to hand weave the fabric as partially seen in this photograph taken by my 10 year old daughter. I pounced on several different rolls even though I had no clear use in mind…they just seemed to be something I should buy. I stopped when I hit 25 meters and thank goodness they gave me a slight break on the price due to the bulk purchase. Aside from the rolls of raffia, they also went a step further to make table runners, place mats, coin purses, wine wrappers, etc. The weavers and the sewers worked right on the premises and you can catch them actually making the fabric and handicrafts.

Back home in Manila, I decided to try aburi4using them as wrapping material and I was truly pleasantly surprised with the results. I wrapped a nice bag filled with freshly baked broas (also from Bohol) in about ¾ meter of the buri/raffia and used plain raffia as a ribbon. It was at once native, modern, unique, colorful, unusual and an “aha!” moment. I have over 500 sheets of wrapping paper and kilometers of ribbon but this beats all of that by a mile. And better yet, the Christmas present is almost entirely locally made…

aburi3

 

COMMENTS:

  1. fried-neurons says:

    Wow, cool. It’s great how you used the material as stunning non-traditional wrapping material. The presents you give out are probably awesome, putting famed Japanese packaging to shame. :)

    Dec 15, 2005 | 2:39 am

     
  2. Mila says:

    A beautiful gift idea. Whoever gets it will be able to use the cloth for their table too.

    Dec 15, 2005 | 9:41 am

     
  3. Booey says:

    Oh, wow! Stunning colors indeed! Is it available in Manila? If not, please consider moonlighting as a rafia vendor, i’ll be the first customer!!

    Dec 15, 2005 | 10:41 am

     
  4. Alicia says:

    What a wonderful looking present.I envy its recipient! Please let us know if they decide to sell the buri in manila, and where. The mention of broas really piqued my interest and I think you might have written about them before in passing. When the holidays are over and you are settled,could you share some of your culinary wisdom about the Bohol delicacies. I am especially curious about the famed torta that everyone told me to pick up when I was there but could not find. I have tried the torta of San Lorenzo’s famous empanada baker, anywhere else you could suggest?

    Dec 16, 2005 | 8:02 am

     
  5. anson says:

    You mean “dyed” right not “died”?

    Dec 16, 2005 | 8:55 am

     
  6. Marketman says:

    Anson, I need to hire you as my part time editor…I have updated the text…many thanks…

    Dec 16, 2005 | 4:55 pm

     
  7. anson says:

    Your welcome!

    Dec 17, 2005 | 9:07 am

     
  8. mojitodrinker says:

    hi anson… you mean — “you’re welcome!” not “your welcome”, right? =)

    Dec 19, 2005 | 11:08 am

     
  9. Marketman says:

    Heeheehee…I am glad my readers have a good sense of humor…I barely passed creative writing class…

    Dec 19, 2005 | 10:22 pm

     
  10. mojitodrinker says:

    one more thing. i was in bohol bee farm last october and i thought the buri/raffia was gorgeous. couldn’t think of what to do with ’em so i didn’t buy any. darn. *sigh*

    Dec 20, 2005 | 3:35 pm

     
  11. Annelies Riem Vis-Gruben says:

    As a designer of hats I was very happy to read the story about stunning buri and raffia.All my hats are handmade by myself.My most recent collection is based on the turbanstyle, made of straws, bananafibre and my favorite fabric buntal. Since January this year I live in Hong Kong.In Hong Kong I can not find buntalfabric. All my stock I brought from Holland is finished. Please, let me know where to buy the buri fabrics.
    I look forward to receiving your email.
    Kind regards, Annelies.

    Jun 7, 2006 | 4:28 pm

     
  12. Marketman says:

    Annelies, look up bohol bee farm and contact the owner directly. If I am not mistaken, buntal is from Bohol, the province featured in the post above. I suspect if you get closer to the source or manufacturer you will save 75% of the cost…

    Jun 7, 2006 | 6:29 pm

     
  13. Annelies Riem Vis-Gruben says:

    Thank you for your advice! But untill now I am still looking.
    I spend hours and hours and almost desperate! But I don’t give up. Please do you other suggestions????
    Alicia and Booey did you already find this fantastic and creative fabric??????

    Jun 10, 2006 | 9:31 am

     
  14. Marketman says:

    Annelies, try emailing vickywallace@boholbeefarm.com and ask her for help. She makes her own raffia/buntal with her own staff…she has the finest selection of more Western color combinations. The Bohol Bee Fram website is easy to find. They have telephone numbers as well if you want to call them instead.

    Jun 10, 2006 | 9:43 am

     
  15. Kibin says:

    Annelies, try emailing vickywallace@boholbeefarm.com and ask her for help. She makes her own raffia/buntal with her own staff…she has the finest selection of more Western color combinations. The Bohol Bee Fram website is easy to find. They have telephone numbers as well if you want to call them instead.

    Jul 25, 2008 | 9:31 am

     
  16. vangie says:

    Hello Annelies did you find the supplier of buntal, and rafia?
    If you like to order me im selling rafia rolls and buntal raw materials im here in my home town Bohol. And you said you stay in hongkong now please let me know. My email address vangiedano@yahoo.com Thanks for reading.

    Sep 3, 2008 | 11:03 pm

     
  17. Adrian yen says:

    dear sir/madam,

    i’m Adrian from a Chinese.we are searching for the raffia fibre cloth.Could you let me know your price urgently?

    Adrian

    Nov 19, 2008 | 10:29 pm

     
 

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