Bamboo and Cane Crafts

Bamboo and cane are remarkable natural materials. They are a renewable resource which India has in abundance. But in spite of the large abundance of this resource, its share in the world’s trade of products made with bamboo & cane is rather small.

At Ziveli we have been deeply interested in the craft traditions of our country.

Our explorations bought home the fact that India’s traditional skills and design repertory could well be the source of livelihood and development for millions of rural craftsmen. It was further apparent that besides appreciating the aesthetic qualities of a particular craft, we would need to develop a strong understanding of the technical possibilities and limitations of the materials, tools and techniques used. This understanding was an essential prerequisite for us. While interacting with the craft communities, our focus is towards product innovation and diversification.

But sadly, our hand crafted products have to still compete with cheap industrial products.

Bamboos being a new material for us, our first efforts were to develop an understanding of its properties and limitations. We felt the best way would be to learn directly from the craftsmen by observations and interactions.

During our interactions with local craftsmen we realised the immense variety of products, indigenous techniques and constructions.

Bamboos are tall perennial grasses found in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. About 136 different species of bamboo are found in India. And the characteristics of bamboo vary from species to species.

Canes or rattans are long, slender stems of certain climbing palms.

Bamboo and cane were indigenously used for architectural purposes like building house and bridges. But unfortunately the so called industrialization and modernisation is slowly killing these indigenous practices.

Bamboo is also used to make furniture, bullockcarts, baskets, containers, mugs, mats, etc.

Vegetable dyes such as the bark of the Shai kui is pounded and boiled in water to give a brown colour to the products.

Bamboo is also smoked for a variation in colour. It gives a black or brown colour, based on the degree of smoking. And it is also a great way to avoid pest infestation on the products.

Our focus is on sustainablitity and creativity for the future. We hope to bring this alive through our bamboo products.

Thank You for Reading…

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