Bamboo is a versatile product, hands down. From organic towels to bamboo t shirts to the softest sheets you’ll ever curl into, the bamboo plant provides a plethora of options for manufacturers worldwide. And because the bamboo plant is tenacious in its growth and quick regeneration (it can be harvested at the root and will grow back within 3 -4 years), the raw material needed is obtainable for even the poorest of farmers.
So it’s no wonder that with its adaptability of product that the bamboo plant is providing the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) a world of options in their workshop offerings. And we mean a world as they span several countries.
Collaborating with In-Hand Abra Foundation in the Abra region of the Phillipines, INBAR promoted the development of the bamboo industry with a loom-weaving workshop featuring bamboo yarn. Led by an Indian textile designer and two native weavers, the workshop showcased a new style of loom that accommodates new, contemporary designs but also incorporated indigenous and ethnic designs depicting Abra’s distinct culture and arts.
Since the workshop, the production of hand-sewn shawls, stoles and shirts has continued and a natural dye facility has been established to standardize color schemes and to better utilize indigenous resources.
From soft fabric to strong buildings, the versatility of bamboo carries through to the Sichuan province in China. While we are still reeling with the news of the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that recently struck New Zealand, China is still recovering from a series of earthquakes that spanned two years. In 2008, a 7.9 magnitude quake struck the Sichuan province in China killing an estimated 68,620 people and leaving almost five million homeless. This devastation was followed by strong quakes in 2010 that struck in Western China killing roughly 87,000 people.
The tensile strength of bamboo is well-known (it will bend but it won’t break) and already Haiti and Indonesia have taken advantage of the earthquake-resistant and easily-constructed housing options that bamboo products offer. Bringing that knowledge to China, INBAR hosted a workshop on earthquake resistant bamboo building codes in partnership with the Sichuan Forestry Department. 40 experts in the fields of construction, architecture, wood science and bamboo processing gathered to present this consultative workshop focused on developing bamboo building codes.
From clothing to buildings, bamboo is proving to be an ideal cash crop worldwide!
For more on how Bamboo is changing the world, visit the Green Earth News section on Bamboo’s Worldwide Impact.