Image 1: A colourful range of cactus silk cushion possibilities.
Photo by Trader Trove.
With its vibrant tones and completely unique texture, cactus silk transforms any space into a bohemian dream. Cactus silk, otherwise known as Sabra Silk is loomed by hand, from fibres found in the Agave Cacti or Saharan Aloe Vera, which is a plant that can be found in the Sahara Desert. This beautiful Moroccan textile is a crowd favourite due to its distinctive silky touch and the intricate, natural way it is traditionally assembled.
The process of creating this strong and sustainable fabric involves:
- The cacti’s leaves are crushed and soaked until the fibres of the plant disperse.
- The fibres are then spun by hand in an old fashioned manner. Often this is performed with the silk hanging off a nail on the wall and someone using battery-operated twisters to tease the fibres into a fine thread.
- In order to keep the material as natural as possible and to not damage the material, the cactus silk is then coloured with vegetable dyes. This is a very timely process but it pays off when the final outcome is a beautifully vibrant coloured material that is free from any unnatural elements or chemicals!
- Once the material has been dyed and dried it s then hand woven on looms, often with other fabrics such as chenille, cotton yarn or camel wool, to create texture. This procedure takes a great deal of expertise.
Cactus silk material is most commonly used to make cushions and rugs. Rugs can also be hung up and displayed as statement wall feature pieces or displayed at the end of a bed, as a decorative throw. Each piece is slightly different to the next, due to their hand-stitched embellishments and variance of colours. This fabric rarely creases and can be dry-cleaned.
Images 4 & 5: cactus silk in rug form.
Photos by Trader Trove.
As cactus silk pieces are hand-woven and made of very few ingredients, they are completely vegetarian and more often vegan. The material is eco friendly and doesn’t leave a carbon footprint on the environment.
Image 6: Cactus Silk floor cushions.
Photo by Trader Trove.
At Trader Trove cactus silk pieces that can be found in store include:
- Small pillows (square)
- Large pillows (rectangle)
- Floor Cushions (square)
- Rugs (which can also be used as wall hangings or throws)
- Tote Bags