JASIN: When it comes to rattan products, what comes to mind are baskets and furniture such as cupboards and chairs, normally in standard sizes.
However, for Zanurah Ramli, producing small-sized or miniature rattan weaves is a real satisfaction and even a challenge for her and husband, Mansor Md Dan, 56, in meeting requests by customers.
The 55-year-old handicraft entrepreneur said she got the idea of producing the mini rattan weaves a year ago when she received an order from a customer who requested for rattan-based children’s toys.
“The customer from Penang sent us pictures and measurements for the toys they wanted, like spoon, frying pan and bowl.
“Indeed, it got my husband and I dumbfounded for a while, but we took the challenge and made them. When we completed making the toy set, we sent photographs of the items to the customer who was very satisfied,” she said when met by Bernama in Sungai Rambai, here.
Since then, Zanurah and Mansor began getting more orders for small-sized rattan products, which are easier to be sent by post to customers.
Meanwhile, Mansor said despite the miniature size of the products, the quality of their products is controlled by Kraftangan Malaysia.
“We use white rattan because it looks more natural (neutral) and is the choice of most of our customers. The thickness of the rattan ranges from 1.0 millimetres (mm) to 3.5mm and we got our supply from a factory in Selangor.
“Our fingers really hurt when we weave, more so when using thicker rattan and it becomes more challenging when we apply the various weaving techniques,” said Mansor, who started weaving rattan products at the age of 16.
As such, he said, they would weave in the morning, at night or in cooler weather as the rattan would be softer and more pliable to shape, thus making weaving easier.
Mansor said basically, the weaving process involves three steps, namely the base, body and the frame or stalk of the basket.
“The most important thing is the process of ‘lagang’ to create the shape of the weave which depends on the length or size of the shape to be made. If it is not done right at this stage, the product will be lopsided,” he said.
As for the weaving process, the stages involved are ‘kelarai’ weaving, regular and embroidered weaving while the ‘lepih’ process is a process of ‘turning off the weaving’ on the edge of the product or frame to end the weaving work.
“If there is a demand for weaving that requires coloured rattan, we will colour the rattan ourselves by boiling it in water with dye before drying it in the shade,” he said.
Mansor explained that creativity is also very important in producing rattan weaves and the inspiration can arise unexpectedly.
“We made shoes in conjunction with the Christmas celebration last year and the product was very well received.
The same goes for Ayan lamps and bedside lamps, which can be custom-made in various sizes,” he said, adding that they target children’s toys as their main products.
Meanwhile, the MyCraft Shoppee, E-Kraf Bazar and CraftOnThe Go applications that can be uploaded from the Play Store and App Store are indirectly increasing and expanding the market for their rattan-weaving products, as well as for the 10 other rattan entrepreneurs in Melaka.
“Alhamdulilah, the orders kept coming for our products and we are fully booked until October. We also had to reject some bookings because we cannot cope as it is only the two of us who are going to weave the products,” he added. – Bernama