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Kitan Fiber

Kitan plants thrive in the arid climate of the Tifira desert. These plants can grow to knee height, though some are harvested when they are shorter. Some varieties may reach maximum heights of taller or shorter than the most common kitan plant. Kitan is grown for it's fiber content, which is used in many aspects of Tifiran life. Kitan fibers are the most commonly used to create the many textiles that Tifira and it's main cities are known for.   Kitan is native to the desert and requires little maintenance to grow. It can be found in the wild, wherever the seeds managed to find fertile ground, and is often farmed in large amounts around oases. There is no danger of over harvesting, and as it can be grown for a large percentage of the year, it is a staple of life in the Tifiran desert.   These hardy plants are harvested at full growth for their long fibers, which are usually softer when harvest properly. These are most commonly used on clothing and accessories worn close to the skin or for delicate tapestry work. The fibers hold color well, and will remain vibrant over time, resistant to fading caused by sunlight and washing. Similar to linen, if kitan is spun into fine and smooth yarn, it can be knit into lace. Knitting is not a common craft in Tifira, though some merchants will buy and sell the yarn itself to buyers across the sea, who will knit intricate pieces with the luxurious yarn. More commonly, the string is woven into various textiles.   Younger kitan plants are harvested for the short, tough fibers they produce. These have a texture similar to hemp when spun, and used for rope and other utility work. Kitan fiber of this type is also used in items like rugs, trivets, simple tapestries, and any other woven item that requires more strength than can be found in the longer fibers.   Some kitan plants are not harvested for their fiber, and are instead allowed to flower. As versatile as their fibers, these flowers can be used to make dye (the light purple color is popular among many who live in the desert), produce fragrance for wearing or for enhancing spaces, fermented into wines or made into syrups and cordials, or used flavor and garnish to many dishes. The flowers are edible, and have found their way into many recipes. Preserving the flowers' freshness has proven a challenge, and this has proven to be one commodity difficult to sell overseas. Dried flowers, as well as some products made from the fresh flowers, have proven popular in some areas of the world.

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