The many steps for creating an umbrella can be visualized by viewing the interactive image below. Click and drag the image to see around the umbrella.
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The rich tradition of Oriental art is perhaps no more evident than when viewing hand painted umbrellas. Whether it's a hand held umbrella or a 7-foot tall patio umbrella, there is something about hand painted umbrellas that sets them apart from any other form of art. They can not only be used for practical uses, such as protecting one from the sun and rain, but for decorative purposes.
Hand painted umbrellas come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, colors and materials and are made by different processes all throughout Asia. Each hand painted umbrella sold on Oriental-decor.com, regardless of the material, is carefully handcrafted and painted by master artisans with a characteristic Oriental touch.
It all starts in Thailand, a delightful Southeast Asian country with an amazing tradition of handmade crafts and artistry.
Bamboo is first gathered and cut into intricate, interlocking pieces--but not just any bamboo: a hearty strain of bamboo called "mai-ruak" that is known for its strength and durability is used to assure that each finished item will be a lightweight work of art that will last.
28 pairs of individually carved ribs and stretchers are used for each 35" umbrella.
These are slotted into each other and stitched together with thread to form a beautifully fascinating, moving structure which opens and closes.
The bamboo slats must then be sewn together using strong thread. The tension must be precise to allow the umbrella to open and close smoothly.
Why use Tago?
Fabric is soaked in the Tago mixture and applied to the bamboo frame while it is very wet, and it is placed in the sun to dry. This makes the fabric stick extremely well to the bamboo ribs.
Each section between the ribs is folded in intentionally by hand, bound with a cloth and left to thoroughly dry.
When thoroughly dry, the umbrella will be opened and will retain the creases initially chosen by the craftsman who bundled it up before.
Sun drying the umbrella shades keeps the strength and elasticity of the bamboo intact.
The rainy season in Thailand lasts for much of the year, from late May until early October.
Since drying the umbrellas in the sun is necessary to preserve the strength and integrity of the natural materials, Thai umbrellas are created primarily between October and May, with the month of June reserved for harvesting the Tago fruit for the next seasons production.
Why use Mapawk?
The three coats of oil-based paint mixed with Mapawk assure the weatherproofing of the umbrella, and make sure that the colors do not fade.
The monsoon season in Southeast Asia brings very heavy rainfall and even flooding to much of the region. Umbrellas are an essential part of daily life, not only for keeping dry on a rainy day, but also to shield your skin from the hot sun!
The detail artist who hand paints the design is a professional, who usually is carrying on a family tradition by creating these hand-painted treasures.
Colors are mixed by hand and the designs are all laid out with the artists attention to every detail.
The artists whose brushes gloss over our painted umbrellas, whether hand held or patio type, have usually trained for a number of years as an apprentice artist. When they are finally ready, they may begin working on our umbrellas. Only the very best artists may work on the patio umbrellas, which usually dwarf the artists themselves! The process of painting and mastering a design on a patio umbrella is quite a challenge but the results show that it is well worth the effort.
We create and use a variety of parts when making our umbrellas. With the exception of springs and screws, all natural materials are used to make the following: