Bamboo and bamboo furniture:
Wood is the best option when it comes to outdoor furniture materials, but unfortunately for many, it doesn’t come cheap. A single chair rarely costs less than $ 200, and a complete set can easily cost a few thousand dollars. But if you’re just looking for the look and feel of wood, there are much cheaper options too, like bamboo. In fact, if you don’t consider furniture a great investment, bamboo can be much more practical. Keep reading to know more.
History of bamboo:
The Chinese were, and still are, the main users and producers of bamboo. Not surprisingly, the first bamboo products found, mostly household items and weapons, belonged to the Chinese some 7,000 years ago. Before paper was invented, the Chinese wrote on bamboo strips, making it a key component in spreading Chinese culture and language. Bamboo was also used for shoes, tiles, and coats, and it remains a key ingredient in Asian cuisine.
In the West, people were finding more interesting uses. Alexander Graham Bell’s first telephone was made of bamboo, and Thomas Edison used a bamboo filament to create the world’s first light bulb. Bamboo mats, bowls, blinds, and ornaments also became popular. Today, the use of bamboo has spread to the arts (sculpture, musical instruments), construction (doors, floors, houses) and even alternative medicine (bamboo shoots and juice).
Uses and properties:
Bamboo is actually a type of grass with a hard, woody stem that reaches its maximum height in about a year. This makes it an ecological resource; In other words, an abundant harvest has practically no impact on the environment. It is one of the fastest growing plants on earth, so it is still abundant even though it has been used extensively for the last few thousand years.
The bamboo stem can be treated to form a lightweight yet extremely strong wood-like material. When the strips are glued together, the resulting material is ideal for building structures such as pillars and scaffolding. Many traditional houses are made entirely of bamboo, and bamboo suspension bridges are still found in parts of Asia.
How it is grown:
Bamboo grows invasively, and the roots quickly form an underground network that is mostly self-sufficient. Nutrients from the leaves pass through the stems (visible stems) to the rhizomes, so that the grove remains alive even if the bamboos themselves die. In fact, effort is often focused on controlling bamboo growth rather than propagating it. Bamboo growers prune the stems or install a physical barrier to prevent them from invading adjacent lots.
Culms are the parts commonly used in manufacturing. After harvesting, the stems are cut lengthwise, boiled, and ground at the edges to flatten them. The strips are then glued together, edge to edge or face to face. In the old style, they are usually laminated in three layers to make them thicker and stronger. Finally, they are given a final pressing and milling to ensure structural bonding and are sometimes charred, exposed to high temperatures just below combustion, for a richer, darker finish. The natural color is pale yellow to medium brown and is equally attractive.
Bamboo furniture has a light, earthy feel that is perfect for open areas like porches, patios, and balconies. When built correctly, it can have the same structural integrity as many hardwoods, but being a lawn, it is much lighter and more versatile. Bamboo is a great option if you like to move your furniture or redesign your room from time to time.
Due to its high strength, bamboo makes great storage pieces like shelves and cabinets. The lighter varieties are commonly used for stools and dressers, while the sturdier ones make for larger tables and sofas. Many people accentuate their existing furniture with bamboo veneers, mats, and curtains.
The price of bamboo furniture has increased in recent years due to import costs, as well as increasing demand from environmentally conscious buyers. Some varieties cost almost as much as wood. If you want something cheaper, try bamboo veneer furniture, which comes with a solid wood interior and a bamboo outer shell.
Care and maintenance:
Bamboo is sensitive to water, so be careful not to over wash it or leave it in the rain. Wipe it occasionally with a dry or damp cloth and remove dust and sand with a mop or vacuum cleaner. Wipe up spills immediately to avoid stains and water marks. Also avoid scraping with steel wool or any abrasive as they can scratch the laminate and make it brittle.
You don’t have to be a serious conservationist to appreciate bamboo furniture. Its natural beauty makes it stand out even against the most expensive woods, and its neutral tones allow it to fit in with almost any theme. As long as you choose well and take good care of it, your bamboo furniture can offer you excellent value for money.