Hau fibers are created by a labor intensive process. The fibers are made from the wild hibiscus plant that thrives in the tropical climate of the Polynesian islands. The tree branches are cut into 4-5 foot lengths and the outer bark removed.
Once this is complete, the inner fibers are stripped. Different preparation methods are used to for different uses. However, one of the most common preparation steps is to tie the fibers to a support branch and soak in the ocean. This acts as a natural bleach and a way to remove any unwanted bugs. After soaking for a time, the fibers are removed and dried.
Handicrafters, dancers, and artisans use the fibers for costumes, accessories, and creative cultural applications. The fibers are somewhat darker and less refined than the hau fibers that we offer from Samoa. However, they are heavier and thicker.
Hau fibers are made from plants. Each piece is unique. Fibers may contain small imperfections due to knots or other features that create unusual patterns or texture.
Three bunches of fibers pictured. Sold by the bunch.
Fibers measure approx. 3 in. wide by 4 ft. in length.
Back to Fijian Handicrafts