Business Idea: Handmade Mats
With mats people have been decorating their homes and homes since ancient times. Nowadays, starting from the trends of creating ethnic interiors with the maximum number of natural decor elements, mats are more popular than ever, and this applies not only to residential premises, but also to the design of cafes and restaurants, summer terraces and playgrounds, country cottages and summer cottages.
As a rule, on an industrial scale, mats are made from synthetic materials or raw materials imitating natural threads. Although such products are cheaper than handmade ones, they differ significantly from the latter for the worse.
To turn the manufacture of mats into a source of income, you need a small start-up capital and simple, inexpensive equipment. And to realize such a business idea is within the power of one person.
Raw materials for the production of mats
The technology itself and the size of the initial investment will depend on what material will be used for weaving mats and what models it plans to produce. Most in demand are mats made of cane, reeds, jute and coconut threads, rice straw.
As you can see from the list, some materials can be prepared and collected independently, others can be purchased from specialized companies or via the Internet.
Bulrush is perhaps the most affordable material for weaving tough, durable mats. It can be collected almost all year round. The production uses both round-cut stems and leaves. The most favorable time for cutting the plant is the end of summer. Bunches of reeds are dried in dark places to prevent fading in the sun, then the stems and leaves are sorted by size, getting rid of damaged, excessively dried, rotten parts. Before weaving, the reeds are soaked in water and stored by wrapping with a wet rag, preventing drying. Due to the elasticity of the reeds, mats from it are woven quickly enough.
One more raw material suitable for mats is obtained from agave leaves – sisal thread. This is one of the most environmentally friendly, durable, waterproof materials. That is why sisal thread is actively used to create decorative elements. One skein of 50 meters can be purchased for 3.5-4 dollars.
If the mat is supposed to be used as a floor covering in rooms with high traffic, then jute thread is used for its manufacture. The structure of the jute fiber is resistant to abrasion and damage. A 60-meter coil will cost $ 4–4.5 for a purchase.
Rice straw is a classic base for mats according to Chinese and Japanese traditions. Rice straw is available for sale at a price of $ 3.5 per 50 kg, but this material, imported from abroad, requires careful sorting and contains a lot of marriage. Although rice straw mats are very beautiful.
In addition, the supply of cane, coir yarn (coconut fiber), bamboo, hemp and other exotic materials of plant origin, which can be used for the manufacture of mats, has recently been established.
The room can be small, but always dry, ventilated, well-lit. Rental prices will vary by region.
For weaving mats, a simple machine is used, reminiscent of the weaving principle of operation. The design is so light that the equipment can be assembled on your own using circuits posted on the Internet. To speed up the production process and minimize the use of manual labor, it is better to purchase an overlock for covering the edges of the mat. The cost of the latter is from $ 1,000.
Also, home weaving looms are suitable for weaving mats, they allow you to make small products, no more than one meter in size. For large mats, special equipment will be required, its cost starts at $ 1,500. Such machines allow not only to obtain products of arbitrary size, but also to realize various types of weaving (square, openwork, diamond-shaped, pigtail, rope, etc.)
The most difficult, but solvable, task in this matter is to establish sales of products. At the first stages, it is impractical to create your own website and spend money on its promotion.
Firstly, it is expensive – about 600 cu, secondly, there are no examples of work, and thirdly, it takes a lot of time.
It’s more effective, if you already use the services of the network, then offer your products in forums dedicated to decor and interior design. It is more rational to distribute products for sale to shops specializing in floor coverings, interior items, household goods, in souvenir shops, furniture salons.
Cost and profitability
Weaving one reed mat with a size of 0.7 to 1.5 meters will require 2-3 hours of time. Its cost is $ 3.5. The retail sale price of mats, depending on the size and source material, ranges from 15 to 50 dollars.