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Raffia ribbon or cord is a great medium to use for creating great summer hats and tote bags. Raffia comes from an African palm tree that has very long leaves. Under each frond leaf, the membrane is taken off to create a strong thin fiber that can be dyed and then either woven into textiles or wound into balls of "yarn" for crocheting. The qualities of raffia have been recreated synthetically with rayon and paper and are readily available at very reasonable prices.