Thursday, April 30, 2015

Natural Arabian Building Materials: Date Palm Fronds & some DIY Decorating Inspiration

One of the most modern uses I thus far seen of date palm fronds is by interior designer Jessica Battaile (work pictured above and immediately below first two pictures down ). She uses woven date palm frond as blinds, as rugs, and to upholster furniture. I love it.
It goes without saying of course, that the date palm was the life blood of the Gulf, the way the Nile is, for Egypt.
Beyond its properties as a food, there is pretty much no part of the date palm that WASN'T used from something else. Traditionally in the Arabian Gulf (and Arab world as well), Oman, and elsewhere, date palm fronds have been used for everything such as the making of furniture (tables, chairs, beds, boxes, and cradles),
 architecture such as walls and ceilings,
as a mode of transportation:
Shasha boat, one of the most ancient seafaring craft
and household goods such as baskets and mats.
A step by step guide to how a palm frond house (very small example) is constructed was
made in the U.K. by the Royal Geographic Society and really suggest you check out the link  which basically gives the same step by step guide I have been given by locals who still make palm frond pet cages and garden furniture using the technique they used 50 years ago to build houses etc.
And maybe you can't picture yourself a weaver, but maybe this cute little easy (guide to make rope is found above or buy some pre-made rope in a souq {even Seeb souq next to the Abna Friesh store on the corniche sells this stuff} but the below DIY is simple so pretty and party perfect:

A little DIY party decoration: how lovely is this simple DIY for a palm frond garland?

 For custom requests from artisans, the Ministry of Culture and Heritage will be glad to put you into contact with Omani artisans. There is a man in Seeb souq near the faux watch tower who makes palm frond furniture, near the Abna friesh they sell handmade baskets and ropes, and in Fanja areesh shade walls are found in the souq, which are pretty, eco-friendly, and super nice in yards instead of some of the awful awning I have seen around:)

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