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The Making of Incense Products

Overview of Ingredients’ Names and Sources
Bamboo and Makino’s bamboo are used for the bottom of the incense sticks. Bottom of the incense sticks were cut manually in the past, but now it is done by machines. Bark powder of the nanmu tree, or just adhesive powder, is the agent that makes the incense powder adhere to the bamboo of an incense stick, and also an important controlling element that controls the burning time of an incense stick, spiral incense and incense pagoda. Incense Various kinds of incense made with different mix of ingredients according to customer’s requirement or for different scents.

Production of incense stick products is closely related to the ingredients and the machine used, which have the greatest influence on incense sticks. Incense is the major raw material of the incense products, but for incense sticks, there is a red bamboo stick for holding apart from the incense – the bottom part. Therefore, incense sticks are not only the major product of the incense industry, they are also a more complicated product in terms of production process. The structure and production process of incense sticks are shown in the diagram below:

1. Bottoming is to soak 3/4 of the bamboo stick in water, and then spread the adhesive powder onto the soaked stick. The adhesive powder becomes adhesive with water. This is the first step in making an incense stick, spreading an adhesive agent for the incense powder.

2. Inner coating is to wrap the bamboo stick with the incense powder evenly. Soaking and inner coating have to be repeated 3 to 4 times. The incense powder used in this process is the major ingredient in an incense stick.

3. Covering is the final wrapping of powder. This is the most important process of incense making. The skill of the incense-making masters all depends on this final touch; they have to wrap all the remaining powder onto the incense stick, maybe leaving only a little pinch. The masters also make the final touch-up for the incense sticks in this process. These three steps are also called “swinging fan” (like the action and shape of turning a paper fan.)