Basket weaving is a time proven trade that has been passed down from generation to generation across a multitude of cultures. The process of creating woven storage baskets involves weaving unspun vegetable fibers into a basket form. It is not limited to vegetable fibers, as a woven basket can be constructed from any pliable material that can be bent and manipulated to form the desired shape.
Woven baskets consist of two elements, the stakes or spokes and the more pliable elements that are woven between and over the stakes.
o Stakes or spokes are the elements that build up the “walls” of the basket and the frame to form the basket.
o The pliable elements are wrapped over and under the stakes as the designer sees fit. The tighter the woven strands are together, the sturdier the basket.
Depending on the style of the interwoven strands will have a lot to do with the strength, durability and longevity of your basket. For instance, by using the “over one-under one” pattern, you are wrapping the body weaving material in a fashion to increase the density of the reeds which builds a stronger basket.
Weaving with reed is one of the most popular techniques used and produces the wicker baskets used today for a variety of purposes. The reed, or rattan core, material is pliable. If woven correctly, the baskets created are very sturdy. The basket weaving process makes for a strong basket used for multiple purposes that can be fashioned into a variety of shapes.
There are many styles and materials that can be used for weaving everything from storage baskets to wicker shopping baskets. Some materials are more readily able to absorb dyes, and some are more pliable. Before beginning any basket weaving project, it is advised to take a class or seek counsel from someone with experience in the trade.
By properly preparing yourself for the project, with good tools, quality products and a working knowledge of the craft, you can ensure that you are building a functional basket that will endure.