The Loofah Patch
Spelling: In New Zealand most people commonly associate with 'loofah' but there are many different spellings (loofa / lufa / luffa), with 'luffa' being the botanical name.
Loofah are a type of gourd grown on a vine and are a member of the cucurbit family where they are grown for eating in many different countries. Many people think that they come from the ocean like sea sponges but they are grown on land and are 100% sustainable.
The large marrow looking fruit is very heavy so we use a solid structure to hold them up and make sure they grow straight. At the end of the season the plant starts taking all the nutrients and moisture back out of the heavy loofah and they start to dry off. When they become lighter and the skins begin to brown we harvest them.
We crack the skins open to reveal the network of fibres left behind. They then go through a lengthy soaking/cleaning process (using only water) to remove any fruit pulp and seeds, then they're hung out in the sun to dry. The loofah will receive one last wash before being ready for sale.
We chose a loofah variety that is world renowned for softness and excellent fibre strength. They have a loose fibre weave which is what makes them so soft and flexible. If you would like to know more about the difference between our loofahs and the harder pumice type (chinese loofah) available in NZ you can read more here.
We choose to work with nature to create a happy balance in our growing methods and hope to be organically certified in the future.
Each loofah is unique in size, shape and fibre thickness.