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Textile Treasury: Cactus Silk


Photo by our girl Jennifer Harrison, aka Flea Market Fab. Used with permission.

*UPDATE* This is a great blog post about the truth behind Cactus Silk if you feel like digging into it!

Cactus silk, aka Sabra silk, textiles are possibly one of our favorite Moroccan textiles for their amazing softness- a nice change from the wool textiles, which can sometimes be a bit scratchy. Another big plus for cactus silk is that it’s vegan- being made from the fiber of the Saharan aloe vera, a member of the agave family. The leaves are pounded and soaked until the fibers separate. Then the fibers are spun by hand to create a silky, but very strong thread. The thread is woven on looms to create the cactus silk. The colors are created with vegetable dyes. You can’t get more Jungalow than colorful rugs and pillows made from plants, right?!


Huge Sabra rug. Photo via Maison Menara’s Etsy listing.


Sabra pillows from a Shop Flea Market Fab sale. Photo by Jennifer Harrison, used with permission.

While the huge rugs are dreamy, even the smallest of rugs made from cactus silk make beautiful wall hangings. We love the pillows made from rugs too- the perfect way to take advantage of the soft hand of cactus silk. Most of the pieces you’ll find incorporate traditional symbols into the design, so every rug or pillow tells it’s own story.

To shop more of our favorites (including that gorgeous rug), visit our Etsy treasury, or check out Flea Market Fab’s regular Instagram sales!

Alternative Text Danae Horst

Total Plant Geek. Check out my botanical shop and design firm, Folia Collective.

12 responses to “Textile Treasury: Cactus Silk”

  1. Zoe says:

    Heads up the treasury link isn’t working for me, hope it’ll be up soon so I can get shopping :)

  2. George Fukuda says:

    Cactus Silk? W0w! Never even knew it was “Thing”. Thank you for sharing and teaching something new!

  3. Caitlin says:

    I love the beautiful textures from these fabric. So vibrant :0

  4. hi thejungalow
    im Mohamed Agajja 23 years old i sell rugs by my IG: agajjarugs
    and i have lot of pictures of my artisans in mountains who woven Moroccan Rugs and some Huge vintage rugs also and i want collaborated with you, im such great fan of your website even i use all time you hashtag in my pictures i want to send you lot of professional photos of our Art.
    best regards Mohamed
    +212 6 53 38 42 62

  5. Heather says:

    I just purchased a few sabra rugs and pillows in Morocco and am now home wondering how to wash/clean them to put in my house/ on my bed? Thank you!

  6. Iben says:

    How to wash Them ? All the colours are not washable

  7. Hugo says:

    Hello. I have one cactus silk rug. Unfortunately it got water in one of the blue drawing and it bled a little dye. How should I clean it?

  8. Esther says:

    Cactus silk is actually Rayon dyed with formaldehyde. It’s a scandal. You can read about it on anou.com. “While in the town, we met with nearly 100 weavers of sabra product and distributors of sabra. The distributors, primarily the most well known, were all incredibly frank in that sabra had never been produced in Morocco and that their businesses started importing rayon fibers because it was shiny, relatively cheap and sold well. We were surprised that they spoke so honestly, but they said it was the first time someone had asked them such specific questions.

    We have since tested the fiber and have confirmed that it is in fact rayon. Further, we’ve extensively tested contemporary and traditional techniques to extract the fiber learning from techniques used on similar fibers in Algeria, Mexico and the Philippines. So far all have failed. It’s not even clear if sabra fiber could even be used for basic rope. As a result, we can definitively conclude that sabra as of today is not real, and it’s story just as manufactured as the rayon that it is.

    • Exactly, go to any artisan in Morocco and ask for cactus silk or sabra and they look at you with total confusion as it doesn’t exist. Cheap rayon imported from India and often dipped in bleach for a vintage look.

  9. Exactly, go to any artisan in Morocco and ask for cactus silk or sabra and they look at you with total confusion as it doesn’t exist. Cheap rayon imported from India and often dipped in bleach for a vintage look.

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