How Are Leaf Dishes Made?
Leaf plates have been used for hundreds of years in Nepal as a normal thing to serve food on for cultural rituals and festivals, as well as for street-food service. Products made from Sal produce are known to have high purity and religious significance. The plates are made from the leaves of these Sal trees (Shorea Robusta) which grow in the lower altitude jungle regions of Nepal.
How exactly are they made?
Tapari Limited as a leaf dish producer have designed their products to meet high quality standards through an optimised manufacturing process with hygienic conditions, sterilisation, and trained operational personnel. Products sold by Tapari are guaranteed to be 100% safe and sanitary with strict quality assurance systems in place.
The process of manufacturing leaf dishes involves a few steps:
First local villagers in the Nawalparasi district of Nepal collect the leaves from the Sal Trees, they either use their hands or long bamboo sticks to do this. The leaves are then bagged up, taken back from the jungle, cleaned and left in the sunlight room to dry.
After a few days the leaves are hand-stitched together into a larger shape by the team. To avoid using glue, natural bamboo fibres are used for this which prevents the individual leaves pealing up and holds the shape of the product.
For the next stage the stitched leaves are laid onto a mould press usually in 4 layers, and using the correct shaped press the plates are squashed into existence while being heated at approximately 150°C to help the bond and also sterilise any potential contaminants. Each are left in the press for around 30 seconds with around 50kg of force pushing onto it.
The plates are then removed and left for a few hours before sorting and packaging.
If you hold Tapari leaf dishes in your hands we’re sure you’d be impressed with the way they feel and look with the careful hand stitching. In use there is no doubt on their practicality – they can be used for all types of food, soups and liquids included.