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Cactus Silk (Moroccan Sabra)

Cactus Silk (Moroccan Sabra)

Have you ever heard about cactus silk? Wait, how can something so smooth like silk be related to something so prickly as cactuses?

This beautiful Moroccan fabric is mostly used to make rugs and cushions that can add bohemian flair to any space. With its unique texture and shiny effect, we’re sure you already want to learn more about it.

What Is Cactus Silk Exactly?

Cactus silk or Sabra is a unique Moroccan textile made from super silky and shiny fibers extracted from Saharan Aloe Vera or the Agave cactus. The truth, however, is that Agave is not exactly a cactus, but a type of succulent. For that reason, you can’t actually say that Sabra is made from cactus. But, since the name of the plant contains the word “cactus” itself, people naturally think that this Moroccan textile is made from the prickly plant.

Not only does cactus silk isn’t made of cactus, but it’s also not silk. It’s a silky and shiny fabric that looks and feels just as elegant. It’s also a cruelty-free alternative to the actual silk which is made from silkworms.

The secret to the silkiness and shininess of this luxurious fabric lies in the fibers extracted from the plant. They are also responsible for its durability, elasticity, and wrinkle resistance. 

Who wouldn’t like a soft and silky cushion made of natural fabric that doesn’t wrinkle, right?

But, there’s more to it. Cactus silk is eco-friendly and its production doesn’t leave a carbon footprint. Agave cactus is the only resource required, along with a few other natural ingredients such as natural dye, and since this plant grows really quickly it doesn’t really pose any damage to the environment.

Moroccan cactus silk pillow

What Are Cactus Silk Uses?

The most common use of this beautiful silky fabric is for making rugs and pillows that can give your space a bohemian twist. Other uses include bedspreads, bolsters, blankets, canapés throws, floor mats, and even fancy jewelry. As you can imagine, each of these products is incredibly soft and pleasant to touch.

What Makes Cactus Silk So Special?

Besides being one of the silkiest and shiniest fabrics you can ever touch and use, cactus silk is produced by centuries-old hand-weaving technique. That’s why it may be hard to find truly authentic Sabra.

Once the fibers are extracted from Agave cactus by crushing and soaking the leaves, they are spun by hand to make silk threads. Most producers prefer to keep Sabra as natural as possible, so they use natural vegetable dyes to give cactus silk products beautiful and vibrant colors.

The dyed and dried cactus silk fibers are hand-woven on looms which requires a lot of time and skill.

With such a great heritage, traditional hand-weaving production, and soft and silky texture, cactus silk presents untapped potential in the textile industry.

Safa moroccanzest

I'm Safa, a Moroccan Native who used to spend her childhood afternoons exploring Medina streets and embroidering in her aunt's little Moroccan sewing shop. Years later and thousands of miles away from Morocco, here I am, reconnecting with my passions: Morocco, Moroccan food and Moroccan fashion and design. I hope you enjoy this little Moroccan bubble