Spun Bamboo Baskets are popular products, NAPI would like to show to customer production process of them as following:
Bamboo is the fastest growing plant and now one of the most eco-friendly materials. In Vietnam, bamboo both grows naturally and is cultivated in highlands and delta areas which is harvested every 3 years to 5 years. There are many varieties of bamboo, most often known are Luong-Dendrocalamus Membraneceus, Buong-Gigantochloa Levis, Tre Gai-Bambusa Bambos, and Nua-Neuhouzeaua.
Spun bamboo is made exclusively from the Nua- Neuhouzeaua Dullooa variety which often grows in the Northern provinces of Vietnam like Tuyen Quang, Son La, Yen Bai, Ninh Binh, Thanh Hoa … provinces. This kind of material is soft and easy to bend thus suitable for making Spun Bamboo baskets.
Bamboo trees are cut at knots and chopped into smaller pieces/bars of 70 cm to 80 cm length for easier transportation by qualified suppliers then delivered to us in trucks.
Bamboo then goes into soaking process in water for about 90 days to prevent mold and insects and make it softer. After that, bamboo is removed from water, and left dry in the sun. This treated bamboo will be kept and used all the year round. This is to ensures that all buyers are provided the most professional and quality products in South East Asia.
At families, soaked bamboo pieces are chopped again by hand into smaller slats with width of 1-2 cm for different products. They are then skinned and bended into curved rings by simple machines which carve deep lines in them, allowing for glue to fit in better and make stronger bond.
Molding/ Shape making
Different bamboo slats are dipped into PVA glue, spun by hand into a kind of flat form like mats and fixed by steel outer rings. When these mats are half dried, they are bended with wooden or cement molds to make bowl shapes. These primary molds are then dried in the sun.
The surface of dried molds is very rough so these molds go through planning process, which make it smoother. Skillful workers are used to deliver the smooth surface of all molds. After that these molds are kept at family stock, ready for delivery.
At NAPI factory, we do incoming QC for 100% molds collected from villagers. Approved samples are used by QC staffs to check incoming molds for smell, shape and sizes. Passed molds will be put into our temporary stock for further processing. Rejected molds are returned to villagers for fixing. Records are kept for passed and rejected molds for future analysis and improvement.
Mold gluing and drying
The first step of finishing molds is gluing. Molds are dipped into water-resistant glue which makes them sturdy and durable. They are then dried in drying chambers for around 4-6 hours at the outcome moisture level of 6-8%. At this moisture level, molds dry well and will crack if the structure is not good or material is too wet. Cracked molds will be sorted out for filling and fixing with a mixture of strong PVA glue and stone powder. This is an important process to make sure that products will not emit humidity and crack again when they come to difficult markets with cold and dry climate.
At this stage, the surface of molds is still rough and there are many small gaps or holes because bamboo slats dry and condense. We will use filler, a mixture of stone powder and water-resistant glue, to cover the surface of molds and let molds dry again.
After the products are filled, they will be sanded by simple machines to make smooth surface and ready for paint application.
Painting is the most important process for making spun bamboo products. Defects are often found at this stage.
Only skillful and trained workers, who have studied and practiced for 2-3 years, are selected to paint products.. We are using painting rooms with running water to extract and absorb the smell of paint and thus protect workers’ health.
Bamboo bowls are painted both sides. The outside part of bowls is covered with special PU paints and pigments for protecting bowls from scratches and achieve colors requested by buyers. The inside part, which is normally in natural, is painted with water-based paint for food-contact purpose.
There are 3 common kinds of finishing: Transparent or grainy color where bamboo grain exposes and you can see; Solid matte is the color which covers or hides bamboo grain. Solid glossy is like lacquer, delivering a shiny surface while covering bamboo grain.
Labeling and packing
Depending on the customer’s request, we can silk-screen logos of the company on bottom of products.
Products can be also stuck with removable stickers at the bottom. Hangtags can also be used to satisfy buyer’s demand,
Products are then classified and wrapped with white wrapping paper or thin foam. Bubble wrapping can be applied for drop test purpose at customer’s request.
For many customers, inner cartons are normally request. We will use reshipable inner to pack goods. Master carton is normally 5 ply which is suitable for sea transportation and transit purpose.
QC guys will follow closely during this process to make sure products OK, no missing or misuse of labels and are packed into correct cartons
Final quality checking
Final quality checking is done 3-5 days before shipment. For each order and shipment shipped out, we will use random checking method by SQL2.4 to identify the quality of the whole lot. If the products are OK, we can ship out; if not the whole lot will be reworked. Hand-out guidelines, quality checklist and approved samples are given to QC staffs to compare and check. Checking records are kept for each order and each shipment.
Packed master cartons are stored in ventilated 1,500 square meter warehouse. The warehouse is divided into sections for different orders and shipments.
All goods and products are loaded onto the NAPI docking facilities into containers and transported directly to Hai Phong Port for onward transportation. For logistic purposes, Hai Phong port is located nearby our facilities.
Any required assistance and or information for routing of shipments will be directly answered by all means necessary.
Although the NAPI product prices are FOB, CIF quotations may be applied as well. NAPI will provide any assistance required to obtain the lowest sea freight from local forwarders.