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All About Basket Weaving

History of Basket-Weaving

Basket-weaving is an enjoyable hobby and profession with a rich history. For centuries, humans have woven baskets out of natural materials, and many Native American tribes ornamented woven baskets with beads and precious metals. Contemporary basket-weaving is a synthesis of the techniques and methods developed by cultures around the globe. Weaving gift baskets is a way of exploring history while creating signature craft pieces.

Materials Used for Basket-Weaving

Traditionally, natural fibers from trees are used in basket-weaving. However, vines and flexible twigs can also be used to weave baskets. In addition, some modern gift baskets are constructed out of synthetic materials, such as plastics or thin metal wires.

All About the Basket-Weaving Process

Baskets are woven by twining horizontal fibers, called weavers, around vertical supports, known as spokes. Typically, baskets have a flat base, which is often shaped like a circle, oval, or square. Then, the spokes are curved upward to weave the sides of the basket. Once the basket is complete, the rim of the basket may be finished using lashing. A wonderful gift, baskets may have handles or woven covers.

Basket-Weaving Glossary

Base

The layer at a basket's underside

  • Weaving With a Wooden Base: This tutorial describes how to weave and secure a base for a utensil basket that's reinforced with wood.

Basket Hairs

The thin extensions on the rough side of a fiber

Cutting and Tucking

Trimming stakes and spokes inside a weave and folding ones on the outside of the weave to complete the basket

  • Constructing a Vase-Shaped Wedding Basket: This instructional guide details how to weave a simple basket in the shape of a vase and uses a cutting technique to form an even layer of spokes at the top of the basket.

Lashing

Fiber used for securing and supporting the rim

Packing

Compressing rows of weavers to strengthen the base and sides of a basket

Ribs

In a ribbed basket, fibers that define the shape of the basket and provide structural support

Rim

A cover for the rim row typically constructed out of a pair of reeds

Rim Filler

A material placed within the rim to cover the rim row

Rim Row

The final woven row at the top of a basket

Shaping

A technique for making a square or extended bottom edge to a basket using weavers

Splicing

A seamless joining of the ends of two fibers to extend a weaver

Spokes

The fibers of a round or oval basket that bend vertically from the base to shape the sides of the basket and provide structural support

Stakes

The fibers of a square or rectangular basket that provide structural support and bend vertically from the base to shape the sides of the basket

Twining

A twisted pair of round reeds used as a weaver

  • Twining a Round Base: Twining can be used to weave the base of a basket with round reeds and spokes.

Upsetting the Basket

Bending spokes or stakes from a base to create the sides of a basket

  • Basket-Making Basics: Learn the background, techniques, and terminology of basket-weaving on this page.

Weavers

The horizontal fibers that fill the base and sides of a basket

Basket-Weaving Resources

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