This webpage is a copy of the comments received on a blog post on Ali’s original website, The blog post itself is now at “Harvesting the lace from lacebark”.

Comments on “Harvesting the lace from lacebark”

  1. Bernice Nehemia Says:

    Hi could you please tell me how you make the flax roses thankyou

  2. Janie Crown Says:

    I am very intrested to know where do you found the lacebark? what part of the north island can you find the lacebark.Do you have workshops

  3. Ali Says:

    Hi Janie
    There are several different species of Lacebarks and Ribbonwoods which grow in different parts of the country. Te Ara: The Encyclopaedia of New Zealand has information about which trees grow in which locations. Check for trees growing in your own or friend’s gardens or contact your local or regional council or local Maori representatives, or iwi, for permission to gather from trees in public places.

    Yes, I do hold workshops in Christchurch and you can check out the dates for these on my Workshops page.

  4. Esther Holmes Says:

    I have recently returned from a world cruise and visited NZ. I’m interested to know if you could send information and pictures regarding how the flax skirts worn by the Maori people, which I saw when a choir came on board the ship to entertain us, were made as I’m putting together memories of my cruise which I shall be sharing with children at my granddaughters school from 4 -11 years.

    We will be returning to NZ in the not too distant future and I look forward to hearing from you.
    kind regards,
    Esther Holmes (mrs)

  5. Ali Says:

    Hi Esther

    Sounds like you enjoyed your trip!

    The traditional skirts you saw on the choir are made from dried strips of the leaf of the flax plant which are attached to a plaited waistband.

    The geometric patterns you will have seen on the skirts are made by the outer green fleshy part of the leaf being scraped off in sections to expose the inner fibre. The strips are then put briefly into a dye where the exposed fibre takes up the dye but the green part doesn’t. The strips are then dried and as they dry they curl up into cylinders which are plaited onto the waistband.

    Skirts made in earlier times were made on a backing of woven fibre. You can see a photo of this on the History page of this web site.

  6. Olive Peihopa Says:

    Kia ora mete,As part of my research I am studing Lacebark.Is there any chance of a workshop for the
    Waikato area, when and where please. Naku noa Olive.

  7. Ali Says:

    Kia ora Olive

    Your research on lacebark sounds interesting. I’d love to hear more about it.

    Unfortunately, I don’t have time at present to travel far out of Christchurch to tutor as all my spare time is taken up with completing the Flax Flowers booklet and have also just started a new job. Maybe Toi Maori Aotearoa will know of someone who can assist you.

  8. Ainhoa Says:

    I’m doing a reasearch at school and i was hoping i could find out some good information and facts about the lacebark tree ..

  9. Mikayla Says:

    Do you know any facts or anything about the ribbonwood tree

  10. Ali Says:

    Hi Ainhoa and Mikayla

    The Landcare Research website has some good information on the lacebark and ribbonwood trees. I hope it has what you’re looking for.


  11. Lovey Marshall Says:

    All your mahi is so beautiful I enjoy it all

  12. robyn Says:

    I have many “lace bark” & ribbonwood trees growing on my property. I planted about 12 years ago - they are easy to grow here in South Canterbury in fact like weeds with many seedlings! I have stripped some fallen branches and will now soak in water as advised. I would love some instruction to make simple kete or hats with the strips if anyone has the knowledge and wish to share it?? the strips of inner bark are quite delicate and beautiful. Robyn

  13. Ali Says:

    Hi Robyn

    Lacebark is wonderfully delicate isn’t it? I suggest you have look at the book Maori Weaving by Erenora Puketapu-Hetet, which I mention on the Reviews page, for instructions on how to make a simple kete with your lacebark. Also, what about making a kete using the method of twining instead of weaving, the same way fibre or muka kete are made. In that way, the strips wouldn’t be crossing over each other and so the lacy quality would be more evident.

  14. robyn Says:

    thank you Ali - have just found your reply - will try for book from library - maybe you will offer a workshop on this? blessings Robyn.

  15. Roberta Says:

    Hi can you tell me how to dye lacebark Thanks Roberta

  16. Ali Says:

    Hi Roberta
    Sorry for my delayed reply. I haven’t dyed lacebark but I think you would dye it in the same way as flax. As the lacbark is a much lighter colour, it won’t take as long and I think you could also use a cold-water dye.

  17. Sr Colette Says:

    We have many very large flax plants growing on our property is there any one who I can contact who would want to harvest them. I grew up in a place where there was a twine factory and they used the flax for that. I guess that is not done today, but seeing the lovely bags and flowers made from the flax is there a home industry who would want it?

  18. Ali Says:

    Sr Colette lives in Dunedin and if anyone would like to take advantage of her kind offer, please contact me and I’ll put you in touch.

  19. Ian McIntosh Says:

    Hi Ali,
    I’m in Dunedin and am interested in harvesting flax and dead flax flower stalks for a project. This is late but if Sr Colette is still offering flax I’d be very keen.
    Thanks for this website, by the way I found it searching for a way to process the lace bark!!

  20. Ali Says:

    Hello Ian

    I’ve just tried to send an email to Sr Colette to pass on your contact email but the email was returned to me. Maybe if Sr Colette sees this she can contact me again.

  21. Robyn Says:

    Hi Robyn wiil you be able to send me some seeds from your lace bark and ribbinwood trees if you can thank you