Water hyacinth used to be a nuisance on the waterways around Vietnam as the plant grows on the water and is extremely fast-growing. Thanks to extremely talented artisans, today the plant is cut and dried and then handwoven into stylish baskets and other home decor products. The water hyacinth material can be handcrafted into a variety of shapes and forms.
Now, what if we learn how Vietnamese weavers make crafts from water hyacinth.
Look For Water Hyacinth
Looking for it along the river is the first job weavers have to do. Actually, you can buy something that is already dry and ready to be processed, but it’s not really fast.
Well, after getting the water hyacinth, then the next step is to cleanse itself of the dirt that is attached and eliminate the unpleasant odor. Washing it is also easy, just spray it with clean water and the dirt that is attached is shattered by slamming.
Separating It From Stems
After cleaning, separate the stems from the leaves, this stage aims to classify which materials will be made into bags or other crafts. Separation can be done with a large knife or scissors. Use that tool because if you separate using your bare hands it will be difficult. Water hyacinth is resilient and hard.
After the stems and leaves separate, the next ledge is drying. The easiest way to dry it in the sun, you can also sunbathe to accompany the water hyacinth. In addition to the easiest, drying by drying will also produce it that is of better quality than those dried using an oven or other dryer.
Making Craft Patterns
After we dry it, we make the craft pattern or frame that we want to make. This pattern is to facilitate the manufacture of a product. If there is already a pattern, our work will be easier, just follow the pattern. Iron frame baskets with powder coating are very important before weaving. We must care for them one by one as design, size, hole handles, colors…ect.
Well, after there is a pattern we just make it plait or maybe knit from water hyacinth that is dry. The pattern is usually used if we make woven, but if you want to make a bag or knit like that, we can design using ordinary pictures.
So all we have to do is copy the existing picture or pattern to produce the same product. Product manufacturers usually make different designs, so each product is only made a little.
At this stage, we just need to add accessories, colors, and maybe give cloth so that the craft becomes even more beautiful. The surface of all the items is treated with a lacquer, which protects them from rotting and against insects.
The baskets must be sprayed with water to clean them out from dust before embedding baskets on acrylic lacquer and drying them under sunshine or drying room.
Ikea, Walmart, TJX are of the retail companies worldwide using water hyacinth items on a large scale for home accessories and furniture. This material decomposes much more quickly than plastic, and makes good and stylish products at affordable prices.