The Life of Seagrass
ur seagrass furniture is made in Bali, Indonesia. We have many customers ask us: What exactly is seagrass?? Here are some interesting facts
about seagrass, and 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 U.S. has become not only
difficult to find, but pricey. But...oh how wonderful it is, once it makes it way to your space, for all to enjoy. It is a conversation piece, for sure!
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, where ever 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 Ocean or from the snow melting in the Himalayans. This moisture fills the cold air and the air 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 and therefore opposite to the northern
Monsoons are bitter 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 as well as 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.
Our furniture at Oceanside Living and Decor, cannot be massed produced for reasons such as availability of the seagrass during certain weather
patterns and government environmental regulations. Much depends on the availability of the seagrass, and the condition of the seagrass after
monsoons. There are certain times of year when it is optimal to harvest the seagrass, and due to its volatile nature in the bundled state, it cannot be
stored for long periods of time. 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, passed down from generation to generation for thousands of years, are accustomed to
the cycles of the monsoon seasons and have learned where, how, and when to dance with these conditions. With only crude methods of
manufacturing and limitations to the accessibility to products, that we can easily pick up at a nearby home improvement store, makes it more
difficult in Indonesia. All products used on the furniture is strictly regulated by the Indonesian government. Yet, 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.
By artfully hand weaving our furniture, it appears so perfect it may be mistaken for machine made, but is not. The results are amazing, the surface is
smooth to the touch and carefully examined for any rough edges that might snag fabric from clothing. (see weave sample). Many factors contribute
to the quality of our furniture.
One can find seagrass furniture that is sold in the United States, but there are different qualities and set of standards used, like anything else.
Oceanside Living and Decor insists and pays for the highest quality of workmanship, fabric and materials establishing quality in every aspect of
production. Each piece of furniture is labor intensive. For example, it takes 2 full days to weave our corner sectional chair, and we use the 1/2 inch
reeds creating a large chunky knit weave. The tonal variation of the reeds lends to the natural beauty of the water hyacinth seagrass, and our seat
cushions are built with layers of high density foam, and covered with lofty batting. Our sectional and armchairs are made with fabric that is 100%
unbleached cotton and treated with an eco-friendly solution imported from Germany.
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 and with regulated harvesting keeps 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.
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