Bamboo, especially if it is fully solid, is an excellent raw material for various kinds of handicrafts. Though most bamboos are hollow, there are a few rare genotypes, which are not hollow, thus, being suitable for wood working and even turning on the lathe.

In comparison to other engineering materials, bamboo fiber has a tensile strength (650MPa) similar to steel (500-1000Mpa) and much higher flexibility (~50Gpa) than steel (~200Gpa). The bending strength of bamboo increases with age, the top of the culm being more flexible than the bottom. The compressive strength of bamboo increases with age, 3-5 year bamboo being the strongest. As a biological material, mechanical properties of bamboo  is subject to variability, within and between each species (Leake et al., 2010)

India has around 24 genera and approx138 species of bamboos (Subramaniam, 1998. About 58 species belonging to 16 genera are represented in the North Eastern states.

Dendrocalamus strictus is the most widely distributed species and predominantly found in the dry deciduous forests all over India. D. sikkimensis, D. hamiltonii occur in Eastern parts of the country.

Bamboos show diversity in stature and form, some are an undershrub, while others are climbers (such as Dinochloa andamanica). However, most of them have woody stems, which is the item of commerce.

The woody stems are called culms, which arise from underground rhizomes (monopodial, as in Melocanna and Phyllostachys, or  sympodial, as in Bambusa and Dendrocalamus). Most bamboos have hollow internodes.

The fiber strength of bamboo, its straightness, light weight, combined with toughness / hardness, lustrous, shiny/waxy finish, a multitude range of available sizes, abundance, easy establishment and short-crop cycle, make them useful for numerous purposes.

Bamboo is indeed a useful, multi-purpose resource, its application largely dependent on the age of the culm. Bamboo harvested within 30 days is suitable source of food; When harvested at 6-9 months of age, it is suitable for basket weaving, when harvested at 3-6 years cycle, it is ideal for building construction and floorboards. In addition, bamboo can be used to make clothes, furniture and bicycle frames.

The World Bamboo Handicraft market was around  3000 Million Dollars in 2007, and is projected to touch 4200 Million Dollars by 2017. Comparing the figures for ALL BAMBOO APPLICATIONS (handicrafts, shoots, furniture, flooring, panels, blinds, chopsticks, charcoal and carbon) the total market in 2007 was about 6825  Million Dollars, and is projected to touch 16830 Million Dollars by 2017.