Palms are an important part of everyday life for most of the southern region of India Palm fiber is one of the natural fiber extracted from leaf of Palmyra trees, leafs are being used from pre historic times as food, shelter, clothing’s and various craft forms Palmyra trees are cultivated majorly in coastal area as it supports the growth of it, and it grows on its own, not requiring any attention or any special needs of farming, these leafs were also used as manuscripts to preserve the story from mythological events.
A large range of products are made out of different parts and verities of palm leaf, from baskets, hand fan, mat, cap to accessories, each and every part of tree is usable the trunk is made of fiber strands and can be used as a natural fiber, the leaf and fruit, roots, all of it in one form or the other can be used.
Here in Kaccheripadi town of Ernakulam district a society which trains women’s of different age group which belongs to a financially weak background and recovered from various mental and physical sickness, this kind of a good work is going on here from past five to six decades and embroidery, banana fiber craft, tailoring and of course palm craft is being taught to the women’s. The center is open to all in need, irrespective of age, caste or religion.
This project is important because it enables the women to help themselves. Money for orders is sent up-front, so wages are assured, covering the cost of production, no matter how low the market goes. The women are taught skills tailored to their ability. Each skill is a valuable part of the final product, and as such, each member of the center is valued.
The palm is brought from Idakky town of Kerala, where its fibers are extracted in traditional and a long painstaking method, which has extinct from almost a majority of parts from India. The products done here ranges from that of a simple mobile pouch to a large table mat. And pricing starting from Rupees fifty to anywhere between two to three thousand. The loom named “Vimala” which is being discovered locally and customized to suit the need for weaving in this particular craft, frame loom is also used for the production, where the mats can be of limited length.