Muka is an amazing fibre that comes from harakeke, or flax. It has many traditional uses for Māori, just one if which is binding for jewellery.
I'm lucky enough to have a wonderful source of muka from my mother in law, Linda Scott. Linda is a master weaver working in Te Whanganui-a-tara, Wellington. She harvests the harakeke and extracts the muka by hand, a slow and mindful process, using a mussel shell that preserves the long strands of muka while stripping away the green harakeke.
Muka fibres are incredibly strong, especially when rolled or braided together into rope. They are also a creamy white colour that takes dye very well.