For FRÖJERED drawer front family, we’ve used all our knowledge and experience with bamboo to create a sustainable novelty for the kitchen. Bamboo is actually a grass, but is harvested and used as a wood. The great thing about this wood-like grass is that it can be grown in an environmentally sustainable way. It grows quickly and it provides a very high-quality material. We think it's quite an unbeatable combination.
“Yes, I love bamboo. It provides so many opportunities”, says Peter Nilsson with a smile. He is one of our foremost experts on the fast-growing grass and is part of the team responsible for purchasing bamboo and maintaining contact with all growers and suppliers.
To create a flat surface with the hard bamboo, slats of the fibre are used which are glued in layers. “Bamboo slats have a natural colour variation and parts that have slight variations in tone are usually discarded. But instead of wanting slats with as similar tones as possible, we mixed them. In this way, we used more of the material and gave FRÖJERED a vibrant look."
The front’s core is also new to kitchens. It’s a sandwich construction that we’ve long used for shelves and other products ⎼ and now make in a thinner version. “It ends up being a very lightweight yet stable construction which requires a minimal amount of materials. The core is made of 100% recycled paper and has a honeycomb-like structure. For Sara, FRÖJERED was an ideal collaborative project. "By taking a material and a construction that we’re very familiar with, and combining them into something new, we’ve managed to use the earth's resources a little more wisely."
Peter describes the area in eastern China where the bamboo for FRÖJERED grows. “It’s a powerful feeling being in the tall bamboo forest. The plants often grow on slopes where the root system spreads out and helps bind the soil and slows down erosion.” After harvesting, the plant grows new shoots and since the plants in a forest have grown to different heights, they are harvested successively. “That’s why large harvesting machines can’t be used and the harvesting must be carried out in a small-scale manner. It also means that no deforestation ever occurs ⎼ the bamboo forest is always green and effective at converting carbon dioxide into oxygen."
The bamboo plant is a hardwearing plant and neither artificial irrigation nor pesticides are used in the forests of China. It also has a phenomenal growth rate (some varieties can grow one metre per day) and already after six months, a shoot can have grown up to 20 metres in height and 12-13 centimetres in diameter. “But it needs about five years for the cell wall to become thicker and more wood-like. Actually, in five years bamboo ends up being considerably harder than many species of wood that have grown for 30 years."
To create a flat bamboo surface, slats are used ⎼ thin strips of the shoot which are glued in layers. Bamboo does not swell as much as many types of wood, so you don’t need to worry about FRÖJERED or other bamboo products cracking over time. And when you see the natural colour variations in your drawer fronts, you can reflect on where the bamboo came from and how the cycle continues with new fast-growing shoots.