December 23, 2021

Bamboo Plantation and Furniture for Rural Sustainability

Bamboo is an attractive option for rural sustainability, for creating furniture as well as an additional revenue source for small farmers

Bamboo Plantation and Furniture for Rural Sustainability

Our team of rural artists in the Graminno Community Makerspace Workshop are very excited by the response and encouragement received from patrons for the innovative products they are designing and crafting at the workshop. So far, the products made by the Graminno team consist of fallen wood collected from their land, that they would previously use as firewood.

However, with the increase in demand for the products, they are looking for alternatives that can help them increase the number of products they make without having to cut any trees.

One such option is to use Bamboo. The following extract outlines the benefits of using bamboo for furniture.

The benefits of using bamboo for furniture (ref)

  • Bamboo is an excellent material for indoor and outdoor furniture with its lightweight structure, superior mechanical properties and natural resistance against biological attacks (Solomon-Ayeh 2002, Chele et al. 2012).
  • It is easy to produce different bamboo furniture designs because it is a versatile material, easy to shape and process with simple equipment.
  • The furniture produced from bamboo has a different look and aesthetic value (Chele et al. 2012).
  • Bamboo can also be used to produce a wide range of laminated furniture such as tables, desks, chairs, cabinets etc. (Cross-) laminated bamboo furniture is new type of furniture as the same laminated wood furniture.
  • It is found that the mechanical properties of bamboo veneers, stripes, strands, particles and fibers are comparable and sometimes better to those generated from wood (Hidalgo 2003, Zehui 2007, Malanit et al. 2010).
  • The tensile strength of bamboo is higher than teak or walnut and twice as stable as oak.

The obvious economic and environmental advantages of bamboo follow as:

  • it grows quick as a straight reinforced segmented culm,
  • after drying it is resistant to swelling or shrinkage due to climate changes,
  • it is extremely durable and resistant after some treatments for preservation,
  • it has a very fine grain, allowing it to come in different styles.

Bamboo which is an excellent material for eco-friendly furniture products has drawn as a green building material. It decreases the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide which is the main reason of global warming (Yiping et al. 2010).

Anand Patki - the Bamboo Man Visits Graminno

We were very fortunate to be able to invite Anand Patki, also known as the "Bamboo Man" to visit the Graminno workshop and provide an overview of Bamboo plantation and the use of Bamboo for furniture design and other handicrafts to the team. Anand Patki is an agripreneur who has sourced bamboo from different parts of the country, and set up one of India’s first bamboo nurseries.

This video outlines Anand Patki's facilities in the Bamboo Nursery, located within 50 kms of the Graminno workshop. We are fortunate to have Anand advise the team and provide support to the project.

Anand provided a detailed introduction to Bamboo Plantation, and gave a brief outline of the features and advantages of various species of Bamboo that can be grown in the Konkan region.

He also provided recommendations for exactly which species would help address requirements of Bamboo for both, local consumption within the Graminno project as well as an agricultural produce that can provide a source of additional income for the villagers. The team had several questions that Anand answered patiently and in detail.

For more information about Anand Patki and his Bamboo Nursery, please visit his website

Bamboo Jewellery - a workshop by Daya Patki

We were also lucky to have Daya Patki visit Graminno along with her partner Anand Patki. Daya Patki runs a project called Bamboo Tantra, that designs and produces intricate jewellery made from Bamboo fibers.

Daya conducted a workshop for the children from the village and taught them how to make simple and elegant designs using Bamboo fibers. The children were fascinated by the experience. They all made their own designs, and Daya patiently explained the entire process to them.

The children were taught to make the basic design patterns that can be used to make more complex designs using their own creativity.

Daya also showed some sample jewellery that the Bamboo Tantra artists had made, that highlighted some of the intricate designs that can be made by using Bamboo.

The children were so delighted by the workshop, that later in the evening, they all made their own designs using some of the unused fibers that were lying around during the workshop. Some of them used blades of grass and twigs to make their own designs!

For more information about Bamboo Tantra and to purchase some of the products, do visit the Bamboo Tantra Online Shop

Is Bamboo Furniture a viable product range for Graminno?

We are eagerly looking forward to expand the range of products that the Graminno team can make by using Bamboo. We are keen to receive ideas and feedback from you about what kind of products you would be interested, both as a patron of Graminno, and potentially to participate in future workshops where we can jointly work on ideas with the team in the village.

Please do comment below, or write to us on !