In Gushi County, willow wickerwork is a traditional folk handicraft with a long history.
Sanhejian Town is more than 50 kilometers away from northeast Gushi County, where is close to the Huaihe River, and flood disaster occurs frequently there, making low-lying areas along the bank a very suitable place for willow growth.
In addition, willow crafts are featured with a disposability, non-polluting, and hand-making, in line with the trend of consumption concepts in developed countries that return to basics. Therefore, if willows can woven into a variety of practical arts and crafts instead of being burn as firewood, it'll not only turn waste into wealth, also develop the local economy, even export to other countries.
Diligent and intelligent people have developed, in local conditions, wicker raw materials such as willows along the bank of Huaihe River, and also make use of their own knowledge and develop their own system in the basketweaving and wickerwork process.
Now wickerwork business has been set up in a manner of Company + Base + Farmers. Sanhejian Town-centric willow planting and weaving industry have radiated to surrounding areas, including more than 60 villages of 10 towns, with willow planting base area of 70,000 Mu (4,660 hectares) in which over100,000 people have joined the industry; 52 factories and manufacturers have been built, which mainly are, Zhenghe, Xiangyu, Xinxing, Yuandong enterprises etc..,14 of which have obtained self-supported import and export right. Zhenghe enterprise's gone abroad and the group has registered a company in the United States. Today, in Los Angeles, New york, Atlanta and other cities, direct marketing stores or windows of the firm's can be seen. Wicker handicrafts from Gushi include wicker, wickerwork willow, rattan, wood, bamboo, straw, brown and mixed basketry, that of dyeing wickerwork, furniture of 20 series of more than 12,600 varieties. These products are selling to 89 countries and regions. The County's annual production capacity of willow wickerwork is 25 million pieces (sets), the annual sales income of 200 million yuan, with foreign exchange earnings of $ 30 million every year.
Primary color furniture
"Natural green willows seen in rainy season are being woven into gold bars", a farmer said. In September 2003, China Association Of Arts and Crafts (CACA) awarded Gushi County "Hometown of Chinese willow wickerwork" honorary title. In 2007, Gushi County began applying for being listed in the municipal National Non-Materials Cultural Heritages, ushering in another spring of the traditional handicrafts.
But Maguojun, the president of Gushi County Willow Wickerwork Association, expressed concern for the wickerwork craft. In his view, Gushi willow handwoven crafts businesses still have 3 barriers to go so as to weave a bigger "world", that is: how to develop the domestic market; how to further enhance product added value; how do enterprises promote a sustainable income for peasant households.
Financial crisis in 2008 had begun to seriously influence on some dominant enterprises in this County that used to receive orders from Wal-Mart, Sweden IKEA and other European and American home furnishing retailers until they started to reconsidering earnestly. Excessive dependence on foreign trade, lack of awareness of innovation and low level of market segmentation... Such deeper reasons were digged since then. In accordance with these problems, they did a lot. For the personality of consumption of Middle East customers who mostly like casual and comfortable things, firms in Gushi developed beach rocking chair series; for that of Germen who seem like be more rigorous and steady, these companies developed a combination of simple dark wicker furniture; for the U.S. Consumers' preference for the original demands for ecological products, develop paint-free and primary color furniture series... Furthermore, only Huafeng company who focused on new product development has received four patents.
Main willow wicker works in Gushi County are: large willow baskets, willow crates, willow baskets, wicker netting, wicker baskets, willow trays, willow packaging supplies, wicker furniture, rattan furniture, rattan handicrafts, straw works, wicker sofas, wicker handicrafts.
Wicker rattan chairs and sofas
Wicker rattan chairs, tables and sofas
Wicker rattan chairs, tables and sofas