Weaving of coconut fronds is a very ancient craft which is practiced in India. Generally raw materials are abundantly available in the local. The raw products are used directly without any processing. The coconut palm is very huge and the stem of palm leaves are cut down from the tree and are made up into mats. These leaves generally need no preparation but it is made sure that the leaves from top to bottom are in good condition. The weaving is started from one side of the palm leaf. Artisan folds the palm stripes in a crisscross manner and begin to weave by interlocking the leaves. Each and every leaflets are bent one by one and adjusted accordingly.
There is no difficulties of starts, joining’s, and endings as it is a very antique craft which is recyclable and easy to fix. Weaving is done one by one very neatly and leaves are adjusted to make it stiff. The weaving is continued till the top end of the leaves. Square weaving is accomplished in an over and under patterns. The leaves are carefully bent and weaved so that there should be no damage while weaving. Once the weaving is completed, the other side of the fronds are also weaved in the same manner.
The crisscross weave of the mat is held in place by interlacing the palm leaf strips between each layer. Later the edges of the leaves are tied tightly with knots and the extended leaves are trimmed. The top end of the fronds have very thin structure which are not used in weaving process is cut. Now the prepared mat is also used for separating husk from rice. The husks are the lighter impurities present in the rice. People used coconut palm leaf fronds to blow the wind while doing de-husking process manually. This is one of the traditional method since times.
The stem is divided into two parts using bill hook, so that the leaf fronds hang from one side. Then the two pieces of mat are laid back to back and tied by interlacing with waste vines, to create a raincoat product. The double thick layer mats are very durable and avoids getting damp in the rain. The making of raincoat from coconut palm leaf is a very oldest art which are now disappeared. Raincoats made from coconut palm leaf fronds are comfortable to carry but now a day’s due to modernization people prefer to wear plastic and other new raincoat products.
Teak wood leaves are placed in between the mats, in order to cover the hollow regions. Teak wood leaves are bigger in size, a single leaf can replace a large straw hat and it easily covers the gaps in between the product. Finally the mat is bent down towards the base of the stem like a V-shape structure and end of the mat is tied with a waste vines. This final product is wore by the villagers as a raincoat which are very eco-friendly and a natural product. The mats were used for about 7 to 10 days where it turns brown in color. Later it is used as fence to cover the gaps where old palms have dried and shredded over time.