Bamboo making techniques

Sturdier than oak, water-resistant and as aesthetically pleasing as the most coveted hardwoods, bamboo is a sustainable natural resource and a pioneer material in the movement for eco-friendly furniture.

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Raw bamboo is always treated and checked for flaws before the furniture-making process begins. The bamboo stalks are cut into uniform thin sections and then either boiled or steamed at a temperature of approximately 1,000 C for 24 hours to increase moisture content. Typically a copper sulfate solution is added in order to defend against fungal and insect attacks. Once the bamboo is colored to the desired effect, it is then either air-dried or kiln-dried. The pliable steamed bamboo poles are stripped smooth, laminated and then either screwed together or glued together using roller spreaders, spraylines, curtain coaters or brushes to form vertical grain bamboo panels. These panels are then used to assemble bamboo furniture such as chairs, tables, sofas, bookshelves and cabinets. One method of assembling bamboo furniture is to entwine the vertical grain bamboo panels with a pre-molded frame of bamboo or wood. Many bamboo furniture makers fasten strips of bamboo around important joints to reinforce them. In the Philippines, bamboo furniture makers support the joints with leather strips. Other bamboo furniture makers choose to use hemp or rope.

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