Archive for the ‘Bamboo Fibre’ Category

Kapangan shows off bamboo crafts

THE Gaswiling Bamboo Crafters Association proudly displayed their bamboo hand woven baskets during Benguet State University’s 95th Foundation Day exhibit which ran June 27 to 30.The association from Kapangan, Benguet showcased varied products including their own designs of fruit stands, faux bamboo furniture and other crafts with bamboo.

 Association president Flordeliza Cosisy said the association started in 2009 when they discovered women skilled in weaving baskets out of “anes”, a local term for a variety of bamboo, with different designs. These women were then offered free training on basket weaving together with other interested women of the town.

The Shuntog Foundation helped the association tie up with the Departments of Labor and Employment and Trade and Industry, BSU, St. Louis University and other NGOs, which organized and registered them as an association. The partners also provided them with tools and materials during the first year of the association.

Cosisy claimed basket weaving is a laborious job taking one to two days to finish big sizes of baskets but somehow, it brings recognition for their town as their customers appreciate their beautiful outputs.

However, the councilor said the association needs more improvements through follow-up trainings; book keeping; and better packaging to draw more customers.

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Building a green home

As individuals (and consumers), we can make the choice to have a greener home.  We can choose Energy Star appliances.  We can put in skylights to reduce our energy use in the home.  We can stock our linen closets with faux bamboo furniture and organic sheets.  We can fill our closet with bamboo charcoal products.   And now, thanks to the Brentano Company, there are even more eco-friendly fabrics available for a wide range of interior applications such as drapery, panel and upholstery fabric. 

To qualify for the Brentano Green label, two of the following three green criteria must be met:

Raw Material – The choice here is between using energy saving recycled materials or to manufacture biodegradable fibers.  If there is a naturally grown fiber available, it must be a rapidly renewable resource and have the ability to grow with minimal chemical use.

The Process – In preparing the raw material for use, there are a series of steps taken.  From yarn-dying and spinning to the weaving and finishing of fabric, there should be no harmful chemicals involved.  Additionally, the manufacturing facility must comply with environmental protection laws governing energy conservation, water treatment and chemical regulation.

Facility and Social Responsibility – Taking in the human factor, this criterion demands that manufacturers comply with fundamental human rights laws for improved working conditions.  Also, manufacturers must initiate programs to promote green policies which can include recycling programs, using air quality improvement devices and educating employees on green consciousness.

To meet the first criteria, the raw material, bamboo is a natural (no pun intended) choice!  And Brentano is taking advantage of it with the introduction of their new drapery woven from natural bamboo fiber.  Elegant Silhouette is available in two stylish shades and is woven from 100% natural bamboo fiber.  While bamboo fiber has found a niche in the apparel industry, household goods is a less common application which Brentano is working to change.

Bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource and can be harvested within 4-5 years of growth with minimal impact on Mother Earth as it can be chopped at the root.  Bamboo can be grown with no artificial irrigation needed yet it is also a water conserving plant that can improve soil quality and stop soil erosion.  Growing bamboo also requires no pesticide or herbicides so even minimal chemical use is not necessary.

Meeting criteria two, the process used for preparing the bamboo fabric includes braising, crushing, decomposing and refining the material which allows the fiber to maintain the inherent properties of bamboo.  This means that the fabric is luxurious with excellent moisture absorbency as well as a high resistance to microorganisms and sunlight.  It also means that the fabric collection is a biodegradable choice.

Brentano’s other eco-fabric choices include eco-wool, organic cotton, recycled materials and even faux leather!  So for anyone who thought that going green would limit their choices in decorating, Brentano provides the answer with a wide array of eco-friendly fabrics in brilliant patterns.

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Weaving A Nest Of Our Own With Bamboo

And one such craftsman has taken the art of bamboo weaving  to a whole new level.Danish architect Soren Korsgaard designed a bamboo house with all kinds of bamboo charcoal products to promote bamboo as a sustainable building material.  And while many have used bamboo poles to construct, what makes Korsgaard’s design so unusual and eye-catching is that the house is not quite constructed.  Rather, it is a woven bamboo house.

For centuries bamboo weaving has provided everything from kitchenware to farm tools and the crafts with bamboo is a sacred one that is passed down from generation to generation.   The uses of bamboo and its resources were explored as early as seven thousand years ago.  In China, certain areas such as Jiang’an and Dongyang are well known for the bamboo weaving.  These areas, rich in bamboo, have fostered a distinctive tradition of choosing bamboo-related jobs.

The craft of bamboo weaving was one that was passed on from master to apprentice.  Apprentices usually spent three years training, beginning by simple repairs of products and graduating to their intricate designs.  To practice their handmade craft, bamboo craftsmen cleaved the bamboos into flat or thin bamboo strips of different sizes.  According to the product that is being made, bamboo was cut into sections and split into vertical halves.  The bamboo joints were then smoothed out and the halves were cleaved into strips.  Afterwards, the green scarfskin and inner yellow surface were removed and the strips were cut into thinner strips, layer by layer.  The strips could be divided into seven or eight layers.  After this basic procedure, there were a variety of ways to go depending on the product design.  Boiling might be required to finalize the shape and to soften the strips so they wouldn’t crack when they went through the plane.  The strips were put through a plane to ensure the same thickness and width.  Additionally, dyeing, plating and polishing procedures could be applied to the bamboo strips.

And while we might be lacking in masters to teach the art of bamboo weaving, perhaps we can take a lesson from the birds as Korsgaard did. His intent was to build the house as the birds did, weaving their nests from the materials available to build a home for themselves.

Bamboo is such an incredible resource, its remarkable qualities have made it ever so popular in the textile industry as well. Its soft absorbent characteristics make it a desirable fabric choice.

How to Select Bamboo Fishing Rod

With the days finally getting longer, we find ourselves heading into summer.  One of the best summer activities out there has to be fishing!  It is a great way to relax and spend time alone or with some of your closest friends.  You can do it from inside a boat or even from the shore.  It is a hobby that you can spend as little or as much as you want on. 

As many experienced fishermen will tell you, one of the most important pieces of equipment used is your fishing rod.  Fishing rods are made in a variety of materials such as graphite, fiberglass, or bamboo.  Did you know that a fly fishing rod can be anywhere from six feet to twelve feet in length?  The size of the fish you are catching determines what length of fishing rod you need.   The graphite fishing rod is mainly used by beginners whereas the fiberglass rod is used most widely because of its strength and durability.  However, it is on the heavier side. 

Bamboo poles tend to be considered one of the best fishing rods out there.  They are both light and flexible compared with the other types of rods, and you will find the most serious anglers out there using them.  There are various brands on the market such as Partridge, Sage, Shakespeare, Daiwa, and Greys to name just a few.  Bamboo rods can cost you anywhere from $5 up to hundreds of dollars for handcrafted fly fishing rods.  You can even make your own bamboo rod!

Since there is more demand for bamboo fishing rods now, production of them have started up again.  Many of the rods you see today are based on the past designs.  No matter if you are using a new bamboo rod or an old vintage one, bamboo is material of choice.  You can’t do better than the flexibility and strength of bamboo charcoal products.  Using the right kind of rod for the right kind of fish will help make your day an eventful and fun one!

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The Skills Of Bamboo Pole Drifting

While we knew bamboo could provide bamboo cutting boards and faux bamboo furniture (among many many other things), who knew it could help people walk on water?  We’re not talking walking above the water on a bamboo bridge, but rather right down on it with nothing but balance and a bamboo pole required.

Single bamboo-pole drifting is a designated national sport in China.  It requires an athlete to stand on a floating Moso bamboo pole and propel it forward with a thin stick of bamboo.  The sport itself originated out of necessity in the Wujiang drainage area 100 years ago and became popular among the ethnic minorities in northern Guizhou Province.  Because of the constant state of flooding in the deep valleys of Guizhou and in the Wujiang drainage area, travel was extremely difficult.  Locals overcame this problem by chopping down the Moso bamboo and drifting along on them down the river. 

However, the sport is becoming more recreational than functional with performers showing their delicate footwork at resorts around the country.  Single bamboo pole drifting looks to be a combination of tight-rope walking, gymnastics and water ballet.   In some performances, participants are walking as a team across a series of floating bamboo poles and in other pictures, they are doing the splits, one-leg poses and even using a hula hoop!

Events in the Ethnic Minority Sports Meet include horse racing, archery, sheep chasing on horseback, wrestling, swinging, springboard jumping, dragon-boat racing and mountaineering.  In an effort to re-establish traditional sports in remote areas of China, many training areas have been established as these sports not only provide a look at the rich history of tribes but they also keep them physically active and healthy.

Just as the northwestern United States has turned its natural hardwood trees into a source of recreation with a constant stream of log-rolling contests, so to have the people of China found yet one more way to utilize the populous bamboo plant.

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How To Pickle Bamboo Shoots

Southern ladies aren’t the only ones who can enjoy pickling bamboo!  Use this recipe to make a delicious bamboo treat that stores easily and can be used in many everyday recipes or eat them plain as a tasty snack.  This recipe works for one bamboo shoot but multiply as needed if you have multiple shoots to cook.

To pickle your bamboo:

  1. Cut the bamboo shoot in half lengthways with bamboo cutting boards, strip off the outer fibrous layers and then trim about 2 cm. off from the base.
  2. Cut  the bamboo into 5 mm wide strips and add to a pan of cold salted water.
  3. Bring to a boil and boil rapidly for 10 minutes.  Drain and refresh bamboo under cold water.
  4. Repeat this process of boiling from a cold-water start, draining and refreshing two more times, to remove any bitterness.
  5. To pickle the bamboo, place the rice vinegar and sugar in a small pan, and stir over low heat, without boiling, until sugar is dissolved.
  6. Then simmer, uncovered and without stirring, for about 5 minutes, or until mixture is slightly reduced.
  7. Remove from the stove, stir in the fish sauce and the prepared bamboo.
  8. Let it cool and store in a lidded container (jar or Tupperware).

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Sleeping Tips For Teens

Experts say that 80 percent of adolescents don’t get the recommended sleep they need which is nine hours.  To be fair, most adults barely achieve that goal but the effects on teens might be more serious.  Studies show that lack of sleep in adolescents leads to lower school performance, reduced cognitive abilities and mood problems including depression.

To really drive the point home, Canadian researchers tested teens with a medium they could truly relate to – Guitar Hero!  Because the game requires complex motor learning, it is ideal for measuring the real-world effects of sleep on daily activities.  Scientists from Trent University in Ontario found students tested at 9 a.m. on a Guitar Hero song they learned at 9 p.m. the previous night showed three times the improvement in performance scores compared with students in a “wakeful” condition who learned the song at 9 a.m. and were tested again at 9 p.m.

Though this may not sound overly impressive, Peters says the results demonstrate a highly significant link between sleep duration and motor learning.

So  consider the following:

  • Establish a bedtime.Yes, it may seem like childish punishment to a teenager but this lets a teen arrange their day’s activities with a sleep schedule in mind.
  • Promote a healthy lifestyle.Keep your kids away from caffeine after school and try your hardest to limit televisions, video games, computers, cell phones and stereos as the evening goes on.
  • Create an environment conducive to sleep. Turn off monitors and cell phones to reduce the amount of artificial light.  Invest in curtains and blinds to keep the room dark at night but bright in the morning.  Invest in comfortable bedding like bamboo charcoal products queenthat are thermo-regulating and moisture wicking.
  • Help your teen with time-management skills.Many teens have poor judgment about how long tasks will take, and end up staying up very late to complete assignments.
  • Try to stick to your sleep schedule on the weekends.It might be a treat to sleep in but staying inbed late into the morning just makes falling asleep on Sunday night more difficult and getting back on track for the week can prove difficult.
  • Make sleeping clothes comfortable. If your teen feels too old for pajamas, consider any tops and bottoms that are less restrictive and breathe easier.  Bamboo clothes are certainly worth looking into for the fabric’s silky comfort and ability to breathe.
  • Try books on tape. Many preschoolers fall asleep to the soothing sounds of a parent reading a bedtime story. Playing a book on tape at a barely audible level permits the room to be dark, and the quiet voice can function as “white noise” that also helps prevent stray worries from hijacking a teen from sleep.

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