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Cane Craft

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cane baskets

The cane is used for making common household accessories. The cane sticks are skillfully tied and bent together to make furniture, racks, swing, baskets etc. The varying thickness of cane is used for making the articles. Cane is the raw material from the rattan plant and it is tensile and durable. It is therefore considered to be ideal for both indoor and outdoor furniture. As it is quite versatile, it can be designed according to modern trends and styles to enhance both indoor and outdoor decor. Rattan gives one several option for crafting furniture, including on the color front. Featuring a spectrum of naturally available colors, you can either create sets with different colors or a single set with multiple colors, experimenting with patterns as you proceed.

Cane Craft in India

The state of Assam is a treasure trove of cane & bamboo natural resources, thanks to its abundant cane and bamboo forests. Spread across the length and breadth of Assam, the artisans have for long been involved in the manufacture of beautiful cane and bamboo products. Assam has over the years, seen considerable socio-economic growth and sustained development due to its dedicated, skilled artisans and its beautiful natural resources. Some of the most popular cane items from Assam include Cane Floor Mats, Bamboo Tea Trays, Bamboo Head Gears, Bamboo Sieve, Musical Instruments, Bamboo Baskets, Hukkas, etc.

The state of Kerala is a popular tourist destination. It has a rich tradition of manufacturing beautifully painted mats and checkered black and white square boxes made of bamboo. While these items serve as excellent gifts, they also energize the handicraft market of this region. Some of the most popular bamboo and cane items from Kerala include – Bamboo Boxes, Mats, etc.

Fine examples made of “Java” cane. Looks good for years and easy to keep clean.

Making Cane Furniture

The first step in the process of making Indian Bamboo furniture is heating of the bamboo/cane. Thereafter, it is molded into various shapes by hand, thus making the component parts. These components are attached together, using glue or screws, to create the frame. Then, the joints are wrapped with binding. Dying of the furniture follows soon after. Finally, a coat of lacquer is applied to it. Wicker furniture of India is also treated against parasites.

Making of cane furniture is achieved through several steps:
• Frame making with cane poles
• Polishing and
• Rounding with a thin processed cane.

In India, cane furniture is made by various groups of artisans/ craftspeople. Cane poles and thin processed cane from India are used in the production process.

cane craft

Initially, lengthy cane poles are cut as per the required size. The cane pole is then heated using kerosene lamp and it is bent according to the desired/required shape with the help of shaping tool which is made of wood. Different parts of furniture are bent separately and joined together with a readymade flat cane. The cane frame is sent for the binding process.

Cane is first soaked in water until it attains moisture and it is weaved around the frame with a thin processed cane. Different motif patterns are created while weaving. After completion of weaving, the end parts are joined with nails. Finally, the furniture is polished using natural polish. Three coats of polish are given to attain a fine glossy look of cane furniture.

Assam Silk

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Assam state is known for wildlife, archaeological sites, and tea plantations. But apart from that Assam is also known for the production of silk. Assam produces high-quality silk from ancient times. There are a number of incidents in old historical stories that confirm the existence of silk in India through Assam. Silk is used for the weaving as it is the most important characteristic of North East India Neolithic culture.

In Assam, there is commonly production of three endemic silk which are golden Muga silk, warm eri silk, and white pat silk.

  • Muga silk-

It is the product of silkworm Antheraea assamensis which is domestic to Assam. The silk produced has its fine texture with durability. Muga traders have that favor of Central Silk Board of India that if they pass inspection then they allow hem to use geographical indication logo for trading globally.

  • Pat silk-

Pat silk is usually of brilliant white color or off-white color texture. It is the silk produced by the Bombyx textor silkworm which is considered as the primary product of silk. The specialty of the silk is that it can dry even in shadows.

  • Eri silk-

Samia cynthia ricini which feed on castor oil plant is the producer of Eri silk. Another name given to this silk is endi or errandi silk but somehow it is popularly known as Non-violent silk. The warmth and softness make it be used as shawls and duvet.

The silk industry had started to get progressed when the ruling kings were taken a keen interest in the art and craft formed using silk during 1228 AD. Before that, some archaeologists claimed that Indians learned the art of silk weaving through some Chinese migrants. Silk had also been considered as part of royal status because the silk weaved clothes were dressed by the king and the royal families.

According to some resources, there are around 9500 sericulture villages producing the muga, eri and pat silk in the Assam and Sualkuchi being the hub of that industry. The industry or the main hub of silk is sualkuchi which is the center of silk weaving because it is the place where all women in ancient times used to craft silk weaving within a developed community which is still the part of Assam culture.

Assam Tea

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assam tea

A cup of “Irish breakfast tea” would be a perfect way to start the day with. Have you ever wondered where it comes from? It is made from small-sized Assam tea leaves which is a type of black tea grown in the region of Assam, the largest tea-growing region along the mighty river the Brahmaputra and bordering Bangladesh and Myanmar, from the plant Camellia sinensis. Black tea distinguishes itself from other types of tea by its dark leaves and more intense flavor caused due to oxidation. This gives the Assam tea a malty flavor, enormous aroma, bright color and energetic taste.

Robert Bruce, a Scottish adventurer introduced tea bushes from Assam in Europe in the year 1823. During the East India Company, a committee was constructed in 1834 to evaluate the scientific nature and mercantile potential of Assam tea. The “Tea committee” discovered that a hybrid of the Chinese and Assam tea would be best suited in the climate and topography of Assam. Assam experiences precipitation of 10-12 inches in the monsoon per day and the temperature rises to 96.8F which is extremely humid and hot. This tropical climate contributes to the aroma and taste which makes this tea significant. The planting and manufacture of Assam tea from 1840 to 1860 were monopolised by the Assam Company, which operated through the labor of the local Kachari community. The success of the company and the colonial policy to offer land for the tea plantation led to a revolution in the production of tea in Assam in the 1860’s. Most of the tea estates in Assam are the members of the Assam Branch of the Indian Tea Association, which is the senior and most eminent body of tea manufacturers of India.

assam tea

Assam tea is harvested twice and commonly called the “first flush’” and the “second flush”. The “second flush” produces the highly-priced “tippy tea” which is plucked from the gold tips and is sweeter and full-bodied and costs more than the “first flush” harvest. There are two to seven stages in the processing of tea leaves and any change might result in a different type of tea. Moisture and temperature can affect the tea production and thus the procedure is carried out in a climate-controlled facility. Withering, fixing, oxidation, rolling, drying and aging are the major steps involved. The interesting fact about the tea plantations is that it doesn’t follow the IST(Indian Standard Time) and has a separate timezone called “Tea Garden Time” or Bagan Time, which is one hour ahead of IST.

Assam tea is known to have higher caffeine content than other teas which is about 50-90mgs of caffeine per cup. However, a stronger and darker brew will yield more caffeine. The most likely Assam tea benefits that you’ll experience is a boost in energy and an increase in mental alertness from the caffeine which is enjoyed by drinkers in the morning. In addition, black tea contains polyphenols including catechins, flavonoids, and tannins which is known to boost your health. It is also said to have the property to reduce cancer but is yet to be proven scientifically. To take the full advantage of black tea, people use loose leaves without sugar or milk. It also has proved to have side effects like increased heartbeat, palpitations, restlessness, nervousness, problems with sleep, or a headache. Some people may even experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and diuresis. However, the celebrated Assam tea continues to be produced approximately 1500 million pounds of tea every year.