A fabric made of vegetable fibers that is why it is also called vegetable silk or cactus silk if the fibers come from the Agave instead of the Aloe vera. For Moroccan handicrafts, sabra, vegetable silk is used for many products: for weaving, textiles, floor mats, cushions, bolsters, bedspreads, sofa throws, costume jewelry, the pretty pompons that we see everywhere in Morocco ...
As such and especially, the beautiful ocher city of Marrakech is world famous in this field of sabra. Very used for the decoration of the Moroccan traditional clothing, for all the products of interior decoration, cushions, bolsters, bedspreads..., this very brilliant and silky thread is extracted from the plant aloe-vera or from the agave (a kind of cactus native of Mexico very present in Morocco) to evoke the silk of cactus from which one also withdraws the fibres or filaments. All in all, the fibers of these plants represent the raw material of the vegetable silk which thus bears its name and which gives rise to the fabric which we call the sabra. As the fibers are triangular in cross-section, they give the fabric this shiny effect that makes all its charm, they behave like prisms that reflect light. This is precisely what makes this 100% natural fabric so special. It has the shine of silk, without being silk!
The plant used is the aloe-vera but also the agave. For aloe-vera, the leaves are soaked in water to extract the fibers, this step is called retting. For the agave, we crush the leaves to remove all the green part and to recover the fibers which will become then white filaments. The retting is the maceration that all textile plants undergo, such as hemp, flax and therefore aloe vera and agave.
When the fibers separate very easily, this first step is sufficient.
Once the fibers are removed, they are carefully prepared and dried in the sun for a few days. The fibers are then, just like the wool, spun on a loom, worked by hand or embroidered according to the creations and inspirations of the weavers. This work is artisanal and entirely handmade, men as well as women contribute to this art.
These fibers are also dyed by natural and artisanal processes, to obtain colored fibers which will be thus worked, woven or embroidered to carry out various works like carpets, covers of cushions, covers of bolster, tops of bed, plaids, tablecloths, hangings, jewels, bags, as we already said before.
The fabric is also used for all kinds of textile products that are highly prized, typical and authentic. The sabra or, vegetable silk or thus, cactus silk, offers a fabric pleasant to the touch and visually speaking very attractive and very chic!
Moreover, it is also a fabric that does not wrinkle, its structure is a little elastic, this is due to the structure of the fibers, it offers a moiré aspect, with shiny reflections, but above all it is the silkiness that characterizes the most vegetable silk. Unlike real silk, some items can be machine washed at 40°C, while others should be untied and not washed. Indeed, fibers and water do not always mix well! The products from the craft of trimmings in Morocco are rather considered for interiors, not too much for exteriors. In the sun the colors do not resist too much and the heat spoils the aspect of the fabric.
Moroccan weavers like to weave sabra fibers and sometimes mix materials, sabra with cotton, sabra with wool, sabra has really become popular in the Kingdom. This fabric offers warm colors, shimmering, the fibers can also be braided, twisted, and thus wonderfully decorate the babouches, bags, stoles, pompoms, curtain brackets, braids, hangings ... The sabra is used for many things. This very bright fabric knows particularly well reflect the light, so it can always be noticed and never goes unnoticed. In the souks of the Kingdom and especially in the souks of Marrakech, it shines on all sides and offers us beautiful colors.
For draperies and curtains, the sabra, generally woven in broad horizontal bands, bands which will be a blow matt, a blow brilliant, offers a really varied choice, as well on the dimensions as on the colors... This artisanal work requires sometimes hours and hours of work on the traditional looms. The Moroccan passementiers are very famous, as such, they provide decorators and great couturiers, designers ...
SABRA AND MORE PARTICULARLY CACTUS SILK
This type of cactus originating from Mexico called agave is also very cultivated in Morocco, and there again, the fibers are extracted from this plant to make sabra or also said in these cases: cactus silk. Thus, in Morocco, no need to breed silkworms, even if the silk is not the same, the vegetable silk remains much more respectful of the environment, for a result of the most bluffing so much it offers softness, brightness and beauty.
Large quantities of fibers are extracted from these cactuses that grow everywhere, even in arid lands. These fibers produce very good quality vegetable threads that are then used to make wonderful articles that are highly prized in Morocco and throughout the world... The agave leaves are crushed to get rid of all the green residues, and these whitish fibers are then separated, washed, and combed to extract white filaments that are then worked and/or dyed with vegetable dyes
The textiles made of agave fibers are biodegradable and are very resistant, we manufacture in particular carpets of sabra, vegetable silk or cactus silk... In the Moroccan handicraft, in the form of curtains, bedspreads, cushions, large fabrics, the hotels very often opt for this decoration out of the common that the tourists appreciate particularly. Thus, many visitors also wish to decorate their interior in this way, which is why all these items are really very popular. Be careful when making your choice, don't forget that real sabra is wrinkle-free! It is true that in the past, vegetable silk was only made from Aloe vera fibers, but today it is not uncommon to find synthetic materials in the manufacturing process, especially viscose coupled with wool or cotton. Genuine sabra has to be earned, and it is important to trust the experts; at Nomad33, you will only find items made from traditional craftsmanship that respect the know-how of the past.
In order not to mislead you, we have selected for you very beautiful articles straight out of the workshops of famous weavers of Marrakech. On our catalog you will discover beautiful carpets of vegetable silk, but also covers of cushions and bolsters, objects which should seduce you. For a typically Moroccan interior decoration, you can trust us! In addition, you should know that by purchasing products from us, you are not only contributing to fair trade but also encouraging this artisanal work which, in Morocco, provides a living for many families.
In your room, for a beautiful set sabra you can choose your fabric to make your curtains and your top of bed matched and you can choose your covers of pillows and bolsters. Your room will be worthy of those found in riads or hotels, where the sabra is always highlighted with also very nice poufs. You can also find beautiful bags in sabra, this silky thread is not only happy but also wonderful.
From now on, sabra is no longer an unknown for you, you just have to discover it in reality to see its brilliance and elegance that will not disappoint you!
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