The Basics of Basket Making
A basket is an open container, which is usually made of strong ropes and is made out of a variety of materials, such as wicker, straw, bamboo, wood, cane, and plastic. Although most baskets are crafted out of plant based materials, other synthetic materials like metal wire, horsehair, or bamboo can also be used. Typically, a basket is woven by hand using natural fibers.
Most often, baskets are crafted to carry food. However, baskets are also used as containers for laundry, pet supplies, tools and equipment, cleaning supplies, gift bags, confetti, flowers, herbs and potpourri, not to mention many other uses! The size of a basket varies based on its purpose. Smaller baskets can carry only a few items, while larger baskets can carry several days’ worth of provisions, bedding and more.
After creating a basket, it’s time to create a basket stock. A basket stock is simply the complete contents of a basket. Once you’ve completed the construction of the basket itself, it’s time to start thinking about what to put in it. Basket stocks come in a variety of forms. Here are some of the more common ones:
These are typically hand-woven baskets, made with a simple loom. A typical basket-making project consists of running a small loop through a couple of feet of each end of the fibers. This creates a one-inch pocket on both ends. Each pocket is then closed with a pin or by sewing a zipper or a snap onto the loom. These types of baskets are versatile and can hold a wide variety of items.
These are typically woven baskets. They’re constructed with a few long, even fibers woven together. The size and shape of the basket can vary, depending upon the project. These tend to be smaller than other baskets, sometimes only being able to carry a few ounces of goods.
These are the basket frame pieces that connect the center piece to the other longer fibers of the basket. Longer fibers can actually pass through the center of the frame without problems. However, shorter spokes, called side spokes, are problematic, since they can break off during transportation and be caught by wildlife.
These are the basket-making raw materials. They are usually polypropylene woven in colors such as black, red, green, yellow, blue, or white. These are the raw materials most commonly used in making these baskets.
These are the basket-making tools used in making these baskets. Many weavers make use of an x-Acto knife during the weaving process, cutting out the broken fibers so that they may be used again. X-Acto knives are typically made from stainless steel, but other tools of this type may work just as well.
Finally, these are the factors of the baskets themselves. There are many different materials that are used in making baskets, from wicker to jute to netting. The materials are then combined to form a basket, which can be further processed further. Different kinds of baskets are used in different situations, from food baskets to gift baskets to garden baskets and even plant baskets. And these are just the basics of basket-making, which makes it so interesting!