New possibilities for traditional crafts With many Vietnamese people moving to cities, traditional craftsmanship runs the risk of being forgotten. IKEA helps create jobs and preserve valuable traditions by working with rattan. A good example is GRÖNADAL rocking chair. Designer Lisa Hilland visited a rattan factory in the city of Nha Trang just before its production of GRÖNADAL kicked off. "For someone like me who loves traditional crafts, it was fantastic to be there and see the skilled weavers working," Lisa says.
To create the seat and back, rattan is manually woven in a classic octagonal pattern. This type of weaving can never be done by machines. "We could test and fine tune the weaving together, directly on the factory floor, in order to create the best result possible," says Lisa.
Jan Ahlsén has been working in Vietnam with IKEA rattan production for many years. "Many villages have been specialized in a certain weaving technique that's inherited and traditionally produced on a small scale since it's done at home," he explains. "For families who have their own rice fields, weaving is an important additional income." Today, it can be difficult to make ends meet by only growing rice and weaving rattan occasionally. A job at a factory can provide a more stable income and a more secure future while it enables the traditional craft to live on.
GRÖNADAL combines traditional Vietnamese craftsmanship with modern Scandinavian style. Lisa Hilland thinks the unexpected combination can help increase the demand for similar crafts. "By creating something new, we can take rattan weaving further and make it interesting for the future."