Training Programme on Bamboo Skill Development by NE-Shilp in association with kraftinn sponsored by neDfi

Training Programme on Bamboo Skill Development

Organised by NE-SHILP

In Association with


Kraftinn Home Décor India Pvt Ltd

Sponsored by

CSR initiative of


Introduction

Assam is well known for art and craft skills. It is home to 40 different tribes and every tribe practices a different style of craft. The sense of simplicity, style and richness of handicrafts and hand looms in this part of India is truly limitless. Bamboo home décor has a good demand and this market is largely disorganized and it’s largely a very niche and untapped category. Even though this industry is growing, the productivity(added value for one factual working hour) is lagging behind from many other activities.

The workshop was aimed by keeping note of the following main factors that will influence the bamboo handicraft sector in the future

  • Increase in demand of environment friendly products
  • Fast change in consumer demands
  • Increase of import (from the countries where the prices of materials and labour force is lower)
  • Increase of international competition
  • Reduction of workforce supply in this sector. We have observed that there is a highest turnover among the low-skilled and highly-skilled bamboo worker groups to different jobs.
  • Change in skills. We have observed that bamboo craft artisan’s lacks personal and special skills, such as, taking the initiative; work with the most recent technologies. Skill change with regards to the jobs in the bamboo sector will be determined by the consumer expectations.

The training programme was sponsored by NEDFI, Guwahati under the supervision of Kraftinn Home Décor India Pvt Ltd from 17th March-29th March at Jorhat, Assam. The training was conducted by Master craftsman Mohd Meshar Ali of Kraftinn under the supervision of Mr. Parikshit Borkotoky, CEO, Kraftinn Home Décor India Pvt Ltd.

The main objective of the training was to provide sustainable income to the rural artisans by helping them to creating high quality products which are of international standards. The workshop was designed in accordance with the latest market trends and designs. Also, the workshop emphasized on products which are easily scalable and easily acceptable in the market.

There were totally 23 participants attended the training.

The training started with the most basic techniques, such as selecting bamboo, basic treatment proceduce to enhance durability of bamboo, sliving techniques and making different products. After the training, trainees can finish the products all by themselves, including bamboo basketries and bamboo lampshades. The training was highly appreciated by the trainees and wish this kind of trainging could be continued in the future

We would like to thank Mr. AK Das, Deputy General Manager, CSR division NEDFI, for continuous guidance and giving us an opportunity for conducting a successful workshop in these region.

WE would like to express our sincere appreciation to Mr. Puberun Sharma Mr. Utpal Sharma for providing the guidance to conduct the workshop in a systematic way.

The training session was opened by Mr. Bibhuti Borkotoky who gave a brief introduction on the importance of Bamboo as a sustainable source of income, various utility of bamboo items, various practices followed for preserving the bamboo products.

Introduction

Inaugurated by Mr. Bibhuti Borkotoky

  • Awareness of Bamboo and its utilization
  • Bamboo as a resource for sustainable income generation

Training Module

  • Selection of Bamboo, treatment and preserving techniques
  1. Immersion Technique
  2. Preservation Technique
  • Bamboo net weaving techniques
  1. Introduction to handtools
  2. Slivering techniques
  3. Staining and tanning bamboo
  4. Weaving pattern techniques
  • Making frames
  • Creation of final products
  • Final touch ups and finishing of the products

The training workshop included two parts:

  1. Selection of good quality bamboo, treatment of bamboo for durability and preserving techniques of bamboo( 3 days)

Many people discuss about the quality workmanship of bamboo handcrafted items, but the challenges of retaining its originality require different techniques and treatment processes. Bamboo is a rapidly growing fibrous plant and is abundant in mostly tropical forests. It mainly consists of roots, culms and leaves. They are usually hollow and vary in sizes, diameter, colours and textures. The cellulose fibres run along the length of the culm and carry nutrients between roots and leaves. Because of its cellulose fibrous nature, it is one of those materials that have very high tensile strength. But, bamboo, because of its high starch content, has very low resistance to biological degrading agents.


  • Immersion technique(treatment against termites)

We needed to ensure that the bamboo we use need to be treated to enhance the durability of the bamboo. In the training, the trainees were provided hand on session where they learned how to treat the bamboo by using the immersion technique. Bamboo culm were immersed in 6% solution of boric acid and borax for treatment against termite attack. But, in this process, selection of bamboo also plays an important role. The trainees were taught to select mature bamboo between 3-5 years old, otherwise the bamboo would shrink and crack when dried.Once the bamboo is treated, it needs to be left to bask in the sun for 4-5 days depending on the sunlight. Then the bamboo needs to be dried in a dark shade to weather.



  • Preservation treatment(fungal)

Bamboo being a cellulose fibrous item, it is susceptible to various microbial attack. During monsoon season, the moisture level in the space led to the growth of various micro-organisms which spoils the bamboo weaved net. Therefore, the best practice to protect bamboo from fungal attacks is to immerse the bamboo slivers in 0.06%- 0.10% solution of sodium benzoate. It has good preserving action against bacteria and moulds etc. In addition, it also acts as an antioxidant and bleaching agent. It provides a beautiful whitish colour to the slivers.


  1. Bamboo net weaving techniques and various patterns

  • Introduction to various hand tools required for making good quality bamboo.

    The training started with the introduction of handy tools which are to be used for cutting bamboos, making strip etc.

  • Slivering techniques to make effective bamboo slits for weaving. Good slivering techniques can be used for proper resource utilization


  • Staining and tanning bamboo
  • Various weaving pattern techniques.


  1. Making frames

    All good products start by making a good frame. To make the workshop interesting and educative we let the trainees made some rectangular frame from wooden strip so that they get hands on learning experience. They created comprehensive range of rectangular frames to be used for making interesting products like lampshades, bookshelves, laundry baskets etc.


  2. Creation of final products

    With the increasing market demand of bamboo home décor products, the training was focused more on traditional methods by utilizing individual’s skills to increase the quality and efficiency of the production. To transform a raw material to a final product, all the processes are necessary and have to be executed in a systematic manner. Once the frames and weaving nets were ready, the job was to attentively fix the net to the frame by using glues and bamboo nails. The products that can be used by following this simple steps are enormous. The trainees were able to finish the products all by themselves, including bamboo basketries item, lampshades etc.



  1. Final touch ups and finishing of the products


Conclusion

The trainees were trained with both advanced producing techniques and knowledge in managing and running a successful bamboo workshop. There were few star performers who have been rewarded and being offered home based semi finished jobs from Kraftinn. Keeping in mind, the increasing demand of bamboo home décor accessories, the training was focused on utilizing individual’s skills, feasibility of the products and the methods to scale the production demand. However, to create the product into lifestyle products one needs to experiment and mix bamboo with other materials like wood, steel, textile etc.

Also, as the demand of bio-degradable products is increasing, we need to look forward as how to introduce new technologies to increase the productivity and quality of the product. There is a lot of demand for colored items; we need to find out processes to develop organic dyeing in bamboo and other natural materials.