New Zealand Flax / Harakeke
About New Zealand Flax / Harakeke
Sometimes referred to by it's latin botanical name, Phormium, but commonly called Flax within New Zealand, this plant is a New Zealand native.
For Māori (the indigeneous people of New Zealand) it was a valuable weaving material in pre-European times. The plant is called Harakeke in the Māori language. The art of raranga (weaving with harakeke) is still thriving today.
How We Colour The Weavings
We use Teri Dyes to colour the strips of flax before they are woven. It's a hot water dyeing process – where the flax leaves are split into strips and prepared for weaving, and then immersed into a hot water dye bath to be coloured, before the handweaving process begins.
Information about Teri Dyes is here.