If you pay a visit to New Zealand it won’t be long before you become familiar with flax weaving. This is something that was created by the Maori civilization. It all begins with putting the New Zealand flax to good use. It is the leaves of this plant that is used for the flax weaving process. This is a different process compared to the weaving which is used for linen. With linen, the stems of the flax plant are used.
The leaves of the New Zealand flax plant have to go through a process before they can be used for weaving. The process involves removing the center spine of the leave then cutting the remainder of the leaves into small strips that can be used in the flax weaving patterns.The strips then have to be softened up so they are workable and this is done with the use of a dull knife, or some prefer to boil the strips and then dry them out before they are used. This method of boiling is often favored by many because they believe that the garments made from the flax weaving withstand storage better. This is because during the boiling process the juices of the plant are removed.
There are all types of items that can be made with flax weaving with the most common being various forms of clothing. Originally this was used by the Maoris for making baskets that they would use for storing and carrying their belongings. It was also a good material to be used once weaved as bird snares. Other uses were for the making of sails for the boats and for ropes and fishing nets.
There is no doubt that the garments made from flax weaving were durable and protective and could even be used to make rain capes. The effectiveness of these capes for the protection against the rain was based on the two layer technique that was used.