The basketweave is an ancestral tradition, based on the use of plant fibres such as wicker or reed. The materials used today are as varied as they are original: passing from the rope, braided jute or even wooden strips.
If basketry is a real skill, it is also literally an art. But while waiting to become professionals, here is a tutorial which will allow you to make at home an organic jute baskets, as pretty as it is practical.
Step 1 Preparation of the Wicker
Take the wicker stems
As indicated above, it is possible to use any vegetable fibre (even wood); however, wicker remains the most common material for its robustness once dry. You can harvest the raw material yourself or buy dried wicker directly from an osier grower (producer) or a wholesaler.
- To make your basket, you will need a large boot with 3 thicknesses of strands: thick, medium and fine. Ideally, the longer the shoots, the better. This will limit the addition of new rods.
- If you are preparing your willow stems yourself, it is recommended to dry them for several weeks before using them, as the wicker shoots shrink during the first drying.
Rehydrate The Wicker Stems
- If you want to work the wicker, it is necessary to restore flexibility to the stems by rehydrating them. For this, they must be immersed in water several days before the start of work, until they are flexible enough not to break during work.
Trim The Ends Of The Wickers
For this step, you need several thick strands that will form the base of your basket. You will need a pruner to make 8 sections of wicker of identical length. The size of the strands chosen will define the circumference of your basket
- For a small basket cut 30 cm sections
- For a medium-size basket cut 60 cm sections
- For a large basket cut 90 cm sections
Cut In The Middle Of Four Of These Wicker Strands
- Place a strand on a flat surface (workbench) in front of you. Make a vertical cut of 5 cm in the middle of the strand, using a sharp knife. Repeat the operation with 3 other basic sections of the basket to obtain four wicker stems with a notch in their centre.