Our seagrass furniture is handcrafted in Bali, Indonesia.
We have many customers ask us: What exactly is seagrass??
Here are some interesting facts about seagrass. We would like to share a wonderful story telling about the dance
between the monsoon rains and the water hyacinth plant, more commonly called "seagrass." Due to surmounting
obstacles, the availability of QUALITY seagrass furniture in the United States has become not only difficult to find, but
pricey. But...oh how wonderful it is, once it makes its way to your space for all to enjoy. It is a conversation piece, for
It is important to understand how the monsoons play a role in this process of making seagrass furniture. Monsoons are
born in the Himalayan Mountain range and the Indian Ocean, wherever the higher pressure is. These monsoons effect
the southeast of Australia, as far south as New Zealand, and throughout the thousands of islands around Indonesia.
Monsoons have to have air filled with moisture laden water, and get large amounts of water from the Indian Oceans or
from the snow melting in the Himalayans. This moisture fills the cold air and comes zooming down, picking up moisture
from the Indian Ocean, and everything spins creating and resulting in monsoon torrential rains. When this part of the
world is experiencing winter, the U.S. is experiencing summer, as Indonesia is below the equator, therefore opposite to
the northern hemisphere.
Monsoons are biller sweet. Too much or too little rain from the monsoon can mean disaster in the form of famine or
flood. They are not only unpredictable, but can be extremely destructive yet on the other hand, also benefit the
production of crops of seagrass. Along with the benefits come mixed blessings. Monsoons can raise havoc as roads
are washed out by flooding, which in turn effects access to the cutting, harvesting, and transporting of the seagrass.
The manufacturing and production is effected by all of this.
Just as coffee brokers fly to different parts of the world to select the best grade of coffee, seagrass is also priced by the
quality of the seagrass. For example: the widest, smoothest, least amount of spotting, and tonal variation (light and
dark natural colors in the bundles). We send our brokers to buy the best quality seagrass used to make our furniture.
Our furniture is dependant on many factors: weather patterns as explained above and also governmental environmental
regulations. Seagrass must be harvested at certain times of year due to to its volatile nature in the bundled state.. It
cannot be stored for long periods of time. High humidity can cause mildew, putting off a noticeable odor. The difficulty
and expense to keep the seagrass available throughout the year under these conditions is an ongoing challenge.
Weavers, who have learned the art of weaving, have acquired the knowledge of all of these factors and have learned
their trade passed on from generation to generation for thousands of years. They are accustomed to the cycles of the
monsoon seasons and have learned where, how, and when to dance with thee conditions. With only crude methods of
manufacturing and limitations to the accessibility of power tools that we take for granted, the ingenious and pragmatic
people of Indonesia have overcome obstacles and have learned to adapt using natural products that are healthy and
durable without the use of chemicals, which is monitored by the government of Indonesia.
One may mistake the weaving as machine woven, but actually it is crafted artfully by hand. It appears so perfect one
would never know. The results are amazing, the surface smooth to the touch. Unlike Abaca, which is rough to the
touch, water hyacinth is easy on the arms. Our furniture is examined for any rough edges that might snag clothing. (see
our weave sample). Many factors contribute to the quality of our furniture.
One can find seagrass furniture in large box stores within the U.S. There is no comparison to the high end quality of
our furniture. We pay more for excellent materials, the weaving and kiln drying process and the cotton. If not kiln dried,
the wood will crack and split once it leaves the tropics. Each piece is labor intensive. For example, it takes 3 full days to
weave our corner sectional chair.
Let's examine our seat cushions. Most furniture coming in from Asia and Southeast Asia is made of solid low density
light weight foam, is flat and the cushions are not comfortable. Our sectional seat cushions are 7" deep, have coils
inside, with high density foam around the coils and then lofty batting. The cushion is wrapped in an inner casing. The
outside slipcovers are zippered, made of 100% upholstery grade cotton. The fabric is treated with an eco friendly
solution (click here to see the Organic Certification). This is shipped from Germany to our factory in Bali, applied to the
fabric before made into the cushion covers.
With many of these challenges, American furniture stores are not finding it cost effective to order furniture made from
natural water hyacinth and if they do, is priced very high. They are now selling Abaca which is easier all around but not
nearly as lovely and smooth. Our prices are still consistent with large box stores and we pass this on to you. We ship
our sectionals and furniture from southern California to all parts of the U.S. To ship 544 lbs of furniture is about
$ 285.00. We have discounted shipping sales on our furniture. The ETA is about 2 - 8 business days, shipped on an
18 wheeler across country.
We hope you have enjoyed learning about seagrass, how dear it is, and how durable and long lasting. It is renewable
as it does grow in abundance in Indonesia. It grows so rapidly that it clogs up the water ways and now has regulated
harvesting, keeping the ecosystem healthy.
Once you receive your furniture you can be proud that you have made one small contribution to keeping our oceans
and landfills clear of the debris from furniture that is not biodegradable, such as metals and plastics.
Back to Home Page (Click Here)
The Life of Seagrass