Basket weaving

Artist Lucy Telles and large basket, in Yosemite National Park, 1933
A woman weaves a basket in Cameroon
Woven bamboo basket for sale in K. R. Market, Bangalore, India

Basket weaving (also basketry or basket making) is the process of weaving or sewing pliable materials into two- or threedimensional artefacts, such as mats or containers. Craftspeople and artists specialised in making baskets are usually referred to as basket makers and basket weavers.

Basketry is made from a variety of fibrous or pliable materials—anything that will bend and form a shape. Examples include pine straw, stems, animal hair, hide, grasses, thread, and fine wooden splints.

Indigenous peoples are particularly renowned for their basket-weaving techniques. These baskets may then be traded for goods but may also be used for religious ceremonies.

Classified into four types, according to Catherine Erdly: [1]

"Coiled" basketry
using grasses and rushes
"Plaiting" basketry
using materials that are wide and braidlike: palms, yucca or New Zealand flax
"Twining" basketry
using materials from roots and tree bark. Twining actually refers to a weaving technique where two or more flexible weaving elements ("weavers") cross each other as they weave through the stiffer radial spokes.
"Wicker" and "Splint" basketry
using reed, cane, willow, oak, and ash

Materials used in basketry

Bending vines for basket construction in Pohnpei

Weaving with rattan core (also known as reed) is one of the more popular techniques being practiced, because it is easily available. [1] It is pliable, and when woven correctly, it is very sturdy. Also, while traditional materials like oak, hickory, and willow might be hard to come by, reed is plentiful and can be cut into any size or shape that might be needed for a pattern. This includes flat reed, which is used for most square baskets; oval reed, which is used for many round baskets; and round reed, which is used to twine; another advantage is that reed can also be dyed easily to look like oak or hickory. The type of baskets that reed is used for are most often referred to as "wicker" baskets, though another popular type of weaving known as "twining" is also a technique used in most wicker baskets. Wicker baskets are often used to store grain. Many types of plants can be used to create baskets: dog rose, honeysuckle, blackberry briars once the thorns have been scraped off and many other creepers. Willow was used for its flexibility and the ease with which it could be grown and harvested. Willow baskets were commonly referred to as wickerwork in England. [2] Water hyacinth is currently also being used as a base material in some areas where the plant has become a serious pest. For example, a group in Ibadan led by Achenyo Idachaba have been creating handicrafts in Nigeria. [3]

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