A basket is generally a simple container which is typically constructed out of strong stems and is made out of a variety of different materials, such as wood, straw, bamboo, and canvas. While most baskets available today are made out of plant materials, other materials like metal wire, horsehair, or wicker can also be utilized. Baskets generally are woven manually.
During the early days of basketry, it is likely that most baskets were woven manually. As more materials became available, basketry became mechanized. Today most woven baskets are machine crafted and commonly have at least one mechanized part to them. Automated machinery in most cases is used to create a fine mesh or to form and knot the plaited parts of the basket. This type of automated manufacturing has led to a great increase in basketry production and has led to improvements in the quality of products being woven.
Basketry could also be described as a type of pottery. In addition to being a versatile container made out of a variety of materials, basketry also can have decorative qualities. The most common types of decorative basketry would include figurines, vases, dishes, pottery, glassware, mirrors, tableware, compendiums, gondolas, crockery, trays and shelves. The name basketry actually comes from the French word “bouquet” which means “a bunch”. Bouquets usually had floral motifs on them.
Many people today participate in basket-making activities. They make baskets out of various materials like wood, canvas, metal, ceramic, paper, fabric, and many more. Basketry has a significant place in the culture of almost all countries. You might even find basket-weaving being taught in schools. These days, people are using hand-made baskets for holding valuables, carrying clothes, preparing meals, holding plants, drying fruits, preserving food, carrying ornaments, etc. In some cultures, baskets are considered auspicious.
If you want to try your hand at basket making, you can go for it. First, find a ready-made starter circle that you will work with to weave the basket together. Make sure you choose the right kind of starter circle. There are many available online and you can get information about which ones are best suited for you. Then buy the natural materials you will use to make the rest of the baskets.
After buying the materials you need, gather all the tools and the accessories you will need during basket-making. Make sure you learn how to properly take care of the natural fibers you will use in the process. Some people also prefer to make their own raffia, weaving it together with other kinds of natural fibers like gourds, silk, bamboo, wicker, etc. The great thing about basket-making with raffia is that you can make several different kinds of baskets and there are many raffia patterns you can choose from, as well.