Bamboo Fences

bamboo poles

Several types of fence constructions, using bamboo as a primary material, are in evidence. These vary form region to region, reflecting the local understanding of the properties of the material, the state or art in terms of technology available or techniques know, and the economy of construction. The functional requirements are also deciphered from the variations of these constructions. Fences used around fields have an open rigid structure, their height being sufficient to prevent the entry of animals. In the plains, fences used around houses indicate a need for privacy, as these are generally of a close weave and extend slightly above human height to create the necessary visual barrier (fig.120). Some of these exhibit an element of decoration.

Field fences

bamboo polesSimple open-type field fences seen in the plains, are made of longitudinal splits of bamboo with interlacing horizontal and vertical members spaced well apart (fig.121). In order to achieve a strong structure with an economical use of materials, combinations of whole bamboo, longitudinal halves, quarters and splits of smaller dimensions are used. Bamboo culms cut to suitable lengths are anchored in the ground and used as posts. These are spaced apart, and horizontal members of longitudinal halves are held between the posts. These may either be lashed on to the posts or attached through a housed joint, where the horizontal member penetrates the post through a hole cut in it.

bamboo furnitureAnother variation of the open-type field fence is made by substituting all vertical members by ones placed diagonally in both directions (fig.122). these diagonals interweave and have the horizontals woven through them. In some cases the lower ends of these inclined members are sunk into the ground and the open ends at the top are held sandwiched between two or more horizontal members lashed together to create a strong upper edge.

bamboo furnitureA third type of field fence, is made by flattening bamboo culms of a small outer diameter and wall thickness, to form sheets which are about 35 to 45mm wide-equal to the circumference of the bamboo. Here a desirable height of fence is pre-determined by the width of the woven mats. Continuous diagonal sheets are interwoven in one direction till these reach the edge of the fence structure. These diagonals twist around the edge and return inclined in the opposite direction across the face of the fence, weaving into the already existing diagonals. These fences are woven like a mat of continuous running length, of fixed width, and are later propped up against posts.(fig.123)

House Fences

bamboo furnitureFences around houses use bamboo boards made by flattening whole culms, 50 to 70 mm in diameter. The fences are of the closed type, with the boards woven closely packed together, without any gaps. The plain weave, the twill weave and occasionally a decorative variation of the twill pattern are used (fig.125). the twill weave structure with the elements taken diagonally as in braiding is predominantly used.


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