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Banana leaf for furniture and handicraft

We know the banana tree as the fruit crops. The banana is very popular fruit for human's lives. But apparently the banana tree also has other usefulness; the banana leaves can utilized as material for handicraft and furniture products. The banana tree actually is not "real tree", he does not have wood, it consist of many leaves arranged in layers to form a large trunk. If the leaves are dried then we will obtain many thin sheets of fibers that are soft and elastic.
The dried banana sheet can be cut, slashed, stemmed and woven to produce furniture and handicraft products. Banana leaf can substitute rattan, water hyacinth or pandanus to form webbing, mat, braid, plait or other cane work. The uses of the banana leaf in the furniture manufacturers are inspired by the handicraft industry. The handicraft industry have been using the banana leaf to make many handicraft products such as: bucket, basket, bag, wallet, etc. With his elastic form and unique appearance the banana leaf is good material to make many handicraft products.
In the furniture industry, banana leaf can be used to make furniture parts that need flexibility such as: seat, upholstery, back chair, etc. Since it has unique appearance, it also can be used as the decorative elements to the furniture products. With the modern woodworking technology, the banana can be cut and slashed and then glued on the wood panel, m.d.f. or particle board to produce panel boards with unique appearance. The banana leaf panel can be used as the drawer’s front, headboard or even table top in the cabinet to produce the unique and attractive product. The banana leaf in the combination with wood furniture will bring the natural, rustic, unique, and attractive appearance to the furniture. 

banana leaf, banana leaf for furniture

banana leaf chair

The processing of banana leaf.

The banana leaves have to pass series of processes before it can be used in the woodworking or handicraft industry. After banana tress is cut, it has to be unrolled to get the leaf sheets. The sheets then are dried to lower its moisture content. The drying of the banana leaves is mostly done by the seasoning in the sunlight, although we can open it in the kiln dry if necessary. The utility of the banana is mostly done by craftsmen who does not have kiln dry, instead of the modern woodworking industry. The dry banana leaves then are needed to be treated with the anti-insect and anti-fungal chemical to prevent the fungal or insect attack. In the woodworking industry, the dry banana leaf can be cut, slashed, woven, glued or laminated to be used for furniture part.

banana leaves for wicker

Finishing for the banana leaf.

This banana leaf forms the attractive appearance without any finishing. The impression of natural, rustic and primitive are the massages brought by the leaf. We can find many banana leaf product are marketed in the unfinished condition. However, to provide better protection and looked we can finish it with proper style. The simple finish with the rustic or antique style is the most appropriate. Finishing with a thin stain or the natural color with thin layer of coating is the most common. Too thick finishing layer or paint should be avoided because it could conflict with its natural and rustic appearance. The thick coating layer also increases the risk to the adhesion problems. The elasticity of the banana leaves limit the coating thickness. The film must be thin enough to accept the leaf movement without cracked. The finishing with glaze application also can be used to make the antique and “life” looked. Glaze to fill and color the inside part will enhance the webbing to bring more life and attractive appearance.
The next consideration is the wax at the banana leaf that could interfere the finishing material application. The adhesion problem is the common problem found in the banana leaf finish. To minimize the adhesion problem then we need the proper process and proper coating material. Avoid too thick finishing film, since it will increase the risk of adhesion problem. Fortunately the finishing material industry has design a special materials for this finish tart is called cane sealer. The cane sealer is the special coating to handle the wax problem in some substrates such as: cane rattan, water hyacinth and pandanus. According to my experience this material is also work quite well to handle the banana leaves. 

1 comment for "Banana leaf for furniture and handicraft"

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