Weaving with dates palm leaves is an important popular hand profession, dates back to Mesopotamia, the Arabian Peninsula and other places where palm cultivation flourished. It was famous in the manufacture off hand women. According to the Saudi National Creative Initiative, a large number of people who rely on this industry because the material is affordable, it can be harvest all the year. Simply, they expose it to the sun to dry, and before using it, it is necessary to soak it into the water to soften it, whether it is plain or colored using dyes, because the dye does not disappear with water. Afterward, it is easy to form. When I start prototyping and after forming the shape I wanted, I used the microwave for one minute to dry it faster. As a result, the shape shrinks about 2 mm only but that should be taken in consideration. Other thing is that while drying and because that process is applied twice to the material, it makes it stronger. One condition I faced is that if it stays moisturized for more than two days, mold starts to appear. A natural solution is to use teatree oil, vinegar or any kind of vinegars will do the trick. I experiment using apple vinegar and white vinegar, and both have worked perfectly.
Using Palm leaves is:
Organic, non-toxic, non-harmful synthetic material that have no negative effects on the natural environment. It can be used over and over again instead of being “downcycled” into lesser products, ultimately becoming waste. Grown- harvest – used and goes back to ground (cradle to cradle (C2C model (defined by McDonough and Braungart)
· Sustainable through longevity
· Easy to get
The Learning Agreement
My ambition runs around the celebration of craftsmen work, in reinterpretation the traditional crafts in Saudi Arabia, and apply it into contemporary everyday use objects. I aim to reinvent the used materials and processes, to prescribe a dedication to quality within a productive creative engagement and collaboration. I also would like the consumers to appreciate the effort, attempting to illuminate their vision of crafted objects by proposing different ways and techniques and let them engage with the details. A pendant light (retail product) that develops Saudi productive families instead of being dependent on society and holds Arabs identity through the combination of the traditional weaving techniques and the ambition of uniqueness and variety.
I chose to design a pendant light because I would like to enhance the material and the weaving process. Adding a bulb will form a lighted back ground that goes through the opening while weaving. I believe that it will add a value and enhance the outcome, as you will see further when I compare the possible outcome before and after.