Bending public perception of bamboo

March 8, 2018 @ 12:21PM
By Khairul Ashraf Kammed

BAMBOO furniture are a great way to furnish your outdoor living space.

If you are planning for outdoor hardscapes and have a low budget, bamboo-based products are cheaper than timber and solid wood.

But, according to Ala Bambu co-owners Fahorulrozi Kahar and wife Noridah Kutik, the perception that bamboo is a cheap material is wrong.

Fahorulrozi said sales of bamboo-based products are not lucrative because of public perception that it does not cost much to make them.

“Bamboo furniture may look cheap compared with other woodwork, but the laborious effort to produce a quality product is too often underrated,” he said.

“A bamboo carpenter must know that they should avoid using metal screws and bolts to assemble the furniture to make sure that it will withstand the test of time.

“We use specially made bamboo nails or ‘pasak’, which is a traditional house-building technique. Through our experience, I think ordinary wood might be easier to work with compared with bamboo, as it is more fragile,” he told NST Property.

Meanwhile, Noridah said there is strong demand for bamboo products, but the prices for the products will not be cheap.

A medium-sized gazebo with roofing could cost up to RM15,000, she said.

Ala Bambu uses bamboos to make gazebos, pergolas, benches, stools, tables, flooring, fencing and bamboo-themed fountains. The company gets its bamboo supply from Lenggong, Perak.

Noridah said a lot could be done from bamboos, including beds, so long as one has the expertise and know-how.

“The bamboo is initially treated to prevent it from producing sawdust. Sometimes, we soak the bamboo in a special chemical or expose it to high temperatures,” she said.

Noridah added that indoor bamboo furniture can last up to 10 years, while outdoor furniture can last up to five years, depending on how they are maintained.

A gazebo with bamboo walls for shade.
A little bamboo hut like this for your garden is a great idea.
Ala Bambu’s latest project involves creating a bamboo-themed fountain.
An outdoor bamboo bar with roof.
A bamboo bench suitable for the garden.
A bamboo pergola outside a client’s home.
Fahorulrozi Kahar is owner of Ala Bambu.