Cane or rattan is a kind of climbing palm which has long, thin, solid and many joined stems; it can grow to almost 500-600 feet. The main products made from cane are furniture, mooras or low seats, bowls and other household items.
Once the green sheath is removed the stems are dried and heated to make them pliable. Cane splints interlace with cane rods to form supports to the furniture made.
The main centres for cane products are Chennai, North Arcot and Thanjavur districts. Chennai is particularly well known for cane weaving and chairs, tables and chaise lounges. At Wallajapet and Anaikaranchatram decorative and useful items such as baskets and trays are made.
Bamboo baskets are used by the farmers to store and carry food-grains and for packing and transporting fruits and flowers.
Plaited basketry in Tamil Nadu is made by crossing the warp and the weft or two wefts. Plaited basketry is of various kinds: chequer work, twill work, wrapped work, intertwined work and hexagonal work. Chequer: when each strand passes alternately over and under two or more warps with variations in widths and colours. When the colours are different, a chequer board pattern emerges. Twill: warp and weft are of equal thickness and the weft passes over and under two or more warps producing diaper patterns using colour strands. Border weaving has three strand warp border, simple wrapped border and fastened twine. Borders are sometimes fixed to baskets with long cane strips. The decorative effects are obtained by simple lines, bends or spirally raised ridges.
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