Four girls give new lease of life to palm frond products
March 12, 2018 | 6:04 PM
by Times News Service
Weaving palm fronds is one of the traditional Omani handicrafts, and one can buy many products made from them.

Weaving palm fronds is one of the traditional Omani handicrafts, and the products made, including household materials, furniture, and utensils, have been used since ancient times. The craft, however, is fast dying out.

A group of girls — Siham, Moza, Inas, and Nafja — nevertheless has decided to give the craft a new lease of life. The team produces a number of products, such as food storage boxes, dishes of sweets, handbags, luggage bags for trips, medals, bookmarks, baskets of perfumes, and makeup organisers with palm fronds.

Nafja Al Rasbi, 24, said, “We are keen to produce modern products from palm fronds, which a customer can use at home or outside. We can produce many useful tools with palm fronds, and not just home décor items, as many would think.”

“My father was so happy when I told him that I will start a project to make handicraft items from palm fronds. He said it was a great idea as we could get some benefits from the palm fronds that grow in our farm,” she added.

“There are several basic stages of production. First, we collect palm fronds and clean them. Then we dye them and soak them for some time in water to soften them and facilitate weaving. Then we dry them for two to three days. After that, we start weaving palm fronds. The duration of the work depends on the size and type of product,” Moza Al Rashdi said.

Siham Al Hashmi further explained: “As we work in a group, it becomes easier and enjoyable, and we distribute the tasks between us.”

“Because of the project, our confidence in our abilities has increased and we are trying to develop our products with new and creative ideas. We will make more efforts to build social relationships and increase the number of customers,” she added.

“Since our project is still in its infancy, we have very simple sales. We aspire to do more by participating in exhibitions and introducing our products to a larger audience,” Moza remarked.

Subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to know all the latest news