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Arts & Crafts : Exploring Basket Weaving, Basketry & Basket Making

Explorie Basketry: Basket Weaving & Making Techniques

Basketry is the craft or process of making baskets or objects woven like baskets from plants and synthetic materials. Learn about the extensive cultural history of basketry and how to make your own baskets from the following resources. Plus, find free patterns, more weaving techniques, basket care tips, and materials information from the following recommended Websources.

Basketry & Basket Weaving Resources

V.I. Reed & Cane
V. I. Reed & Cane is a long established mail order supplier of superior quality basket weaving supplies and kits. Their Web site features an excellent Q & A page for beginners. Are you confused about what supplies are asked for in certain patterns? This Web site has lots of photos so that you can see for yourself what a certain type of handles or reed looks like. Learn the basics of basketry vocabulary, learn about the basket weaving materials themselves, and handy tips for getting your weaving started.

Just Patterns
The idea magazine for basket makers. Includes terms and tips for soaking, twining, upsett, row weaving, fold and tuck, handle, and rim.

NativeTech: Weaving & Cordage
Learn about basketry, weaving and cordage, and making cordage from plant and animal materials.

The Art of Basket Weaving

By Mohamed Fowroj

Woman Weaving BasketsBasket weaving is weaving of unspun vegetable fibers. Baskets can be made of different materials like wood, leaf, vine or any other fiber that can be fashioned into any desirable shape. Basket weaving is an extremely satisfying and relaxing activity that allows you a free flow of all your creative juices. The end product in form of a basket gives you a lot of satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment.

According to archeologists the oldest known baskets are probably 10,000 to 12,000 years old and found in Egypt. Basket weaving has changed its forms, materials, techniques, over these years. Conventionally, basket makers used to gather and then prepare their own raw materials. But you may also purchase your materials. Reed is the most commonly used material for basket weaving. With changing times, flat reed has been replaced by other materials like oak, hickory splits, cedar, willows, cattail and ash.

Coiled basketry generally uses rushes and grasses. A bunch is stitched in a spiral oval or round shape. Plaiting uses those materials that are ribbon like and wide like yucca or palms. Similar materials are plaited together and the pattern can be checker or crossed. Twining uses elements from roots and tree bark. In this type two or more materials are made to encircle another base material. Wicker and Splint baskets use materials like cane, reed, oak, willow and ash.

Today, basket weavers range from the perfectionist who still cut their own trees to make the customary practical baskets, to basket weavers who are more interested in the art of weaving and their attention is more on aesthetic sense of the baskets and who use every material you can imagine that range from unusual stuff like horsehair to the commonly used reeds and bamboos. Beginners on basket weaving should experiment with the different types of techniques and materials and then in due course settle down on one or two preferred methods or styles.

Basket weaving can be quite addictive. It is a great way to express your creativity and is quite a fascinating as well as absorbing job. The best reward of basket weaving is when you gift them to a loved one and receive a lot of compliments in return. •

Mohamed Fowroj is an expert and author on the subject of basket weaving. Visit www.basket-weaving-secrets.com for more information.

5/1/08