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Cane O Cane adds a new range of furniture that makes best use of the weed

ITa��S EASY to miss this tiny store on the busy East Coast Road. But at Cane O Cane, R Narendran has almost 15 people working under hima��fashioning furniture out of cane, water hyacinth and bamboo. Started in 2010, the store offers furniturea�� like sofa sets, dinner tables and garden furniturea��and home dA�cor like boxes. For those who like intricate designs, Narendran also does some cane weaving. Quite the inventor, he recently designed his own handloom machine for weaving cane strips. a�?My bamboo furniture comes from Assam so I started a unit there with three workers. I saw people using machines for wooden furniture and designed my own machine,a�? he says.

furniture18Why the interest in furniture? a�?My uncle had a furniture store in Anna Nagar, but it shut. I trained under him and then I started this one,a�? says the Chennai native. Besides ordering from a catalogue (which boasts of Japanese designs), one can customise furniture. a�?I had a French client who wanted a wooden easy chair and a cot with cane weaving,a�? says Narendran, who learnt six languages through his clients.

a�?IA� have worked in Europe and Sri Lanka and have French and Telugu clients, so I learnt the language.a�? Nothing seems impossible for the 40-year-old, who sources water hyacinth from local ponds in Neelankarai. a�?We get about 20 kilos of the weed with which we can make one sofa set and one chair. These are more expensive.a�? But he reassures us that the furniture is low maintenance. a�?Regular dusting and cleaning is enough. But dona��t expose the furniture to the elements,a�? he concludes

A bamboo sofa set costs from Rs. 15,000 onwards. The water hyacinth furniture costs Rs. 40,000 onwards. Details: 64548882

A�-Mrinalini Sundar

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