Basket Weaving 101

Baskets come in handy for all sorts of purposes. They’re great for packing a picnic. They can hold eggs and other goodies for Easter. And they can help us organize our homes while adding a decorative touch.

You can buy baskets in most stores, from discount to high-end. But have you ever considered weaving your own baskets? It’s lots of fun, and also quite relaxing. And once you get the hang of it, you can create some unique and beautiful works of art.

Like any craft, basket weaving requires one to learn some terminology and techniques. But it’s actually pretty easy to do. Here we will discuss the basics.

Supplies

When getting started with basket weaving, you’ll need a few tools. Here’s a list of things that basket makers commonly use:

Pocket knife
Strong scissors
Ruler or tape measure
Bucket or dishpan (to put water in to soak weavers)
Sandpaper
Rubber bands or cable ties
Awl
Cutting pliers and/or pruning shears
Needle nosed pliers
Miter box and saw
Reed gauge
Cutting mat

You’ll also need some materials to make the basket with. You’ll need a rigid material to form the spokes of the basket, and a more flexible material to weave over and under the ribs. Wicker is one of the most popular basket-weaving materials, and it’s easy to work with. Rattan is also used frequently, but it must be thoroughly soaked before using.

You may choose to use a base for the bottom of your basket. Otherwise, you’ll need to weave a base for it. If you’re using a pattern, it should detail how to do this.

Techniques

Weaving a simple basket is pretty straightforward. Once your spokes are in place, you can just weave the weavers alternately over and under them. Double weaving is similar to simple under-and-over weaving, but you use two strands at a time instead of one.

Pairing is another common basket-weaving technique. It involves starting two weavers behind two successive spokes, then crossing them over and under in a criss-cross pattern. The triple twist is like pairing, only three weavers are started behind three successive spokes.

Safety

Basket-making materials can have sharp edges. You’ll also be working with some sharp tools, so it’s important to keep safety in mind. Keep some bandages handy in case of mishaps. It’s also a good idea to wear rubber gloves to help prevent injuries.

Basket weaving is a pleasant and rewarding craft. It’s easy to learn, and the finished product is very useful. Baskets are great to have around the house, and they make wonderful gifts, either on their own or filled with treats.

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