Handmade Bamboo Umbrella: Chiang Mai Thailand

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Fancy a DIY hand-made bamboo umbrella? Borsang umbrella making centers are certainly experts on this. Here’s how they do it. Enjoy!

Materials

Softwood for the upper head, lower head, and upper head sleeve
Bamboo for the ribs and strut
Palm leaf stalk for the stem

These parts are assembled to form an umbrella. Then, the umbrella is saturated in an insecticide-solution for a certain period of time. Thereafter, these are fumigated in order to prevent pests and harmful microorganisms from destroying the wood.

 

Paper Making from the bark of mulberry

Botanically named bronssonetia papyrifera, Saa paper is made from the bark of mulberry tree. Initially, the bark is soaked in clean water for about 24 hours. Then it is boiled with several kinds of ashes for about 3-4 hours and rinsed with water.
Next the material is beaten with mallets until tender and thereafter fibers are put into a water-filled tank and stirred with a paddle until the fibers are suspended in the water. The fibers are then sifted with a screen and dried under the sun for about 20 minutes. Once dried, sheets of paper are formed which can be peeled off easily. This is the paper used in double layer to cover the umbrella frame and later painted.

To cover the umbrella

Saa paper or cotton (ramie)
The covering material is pasted onto the umbrella frame by a special mixture of paste and persimmon fruit secretion which helps tense and waterproof the umbrella. This special mixture glues the Saa paper firmly onto the ribs of the umbrella which stays glued sturdily even when wet. This is because of the botanical property of the fruit.

The secretion can be obtained by pounding a certain amount of persimmon fruit in a set of gigantic mortar and pestle. Therafter, they are fermented for a month or two before the secretion is used for the mixture. And Parianri anamese hanee oil mixed with desired color is added to protect the umbrella from weathering effect of the sun and rain.

For coverings pasted onto the umbrella frame by regular glue is good for sun and indoor decorative only.

Hand-made bamboo umbrella painting design

In olden days, there was no design painted on the umbrella. It was only until the last 2 decades, villagers began painting umbrellas. Designs include floral, animal, scenic and nature.
Most painters working in centers have never attended any art school at all. Most of them obtained their painting skill on the job training, practiced and honed this skill while working.

If you happened to be in Chiang Mai, Borsang umbrella centers are a great way to bond with your family for they allow individuals to design their own umbrellas. Find out more about this at family bonding at Borsang umbrella center.

 

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