Several people have been having trouble using raffia, finding that it
splits and breaks. Here's something I tried this week that seems to
Put a few pieces of raffia in a plastic bag and sprinkle a little water
in the bag, just enough so the raffia will get damp. Seal it and after
the raffia has become evenly damp, split each piece of raffia into
usable widths. Let it dry; it won't take long. As it dries, it will
roll up a bit, becoming more threadlike. It also seems to be stiffer
(less soft). I've found that the lengths of raffia I've done this to
are less likely to split as I use them.
Hope this helps!