Introduction to Basket Making
A basket is any container that is usually made of strong webbing and is typically made of a variety of materials, such as plastic, wicker, wood, and cane. While most baskets made of cloth are typically made manually, other more recent materials used to make baskets include metal wire, wicker, or horsehair. Baskets are typically woven by hand using stitches of various kinds. They may be left hand woven or machine woven depending on how intricate the design was and the type of material that was used to construct the basket.
Basketry is an art that dates back to prehistoric times when wooden plaited baskets and other similar basketry were used for storage purposes. Wooden plaited baskets have been found in grave sites dating back around 40,000 years. These wooden baskets were made from different types of wood that were scavenged from the gravesite. They have been discovered in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America. Some have been excavated so deeply that they have revealed artifacts as old as 40 years ago.
The early varieties of woven baskets made of soft plant materials such as reed, straw, linseed oil were used for utilitarian purposes. Over time the weaving style progressed and now basket making uses more durable and versatile plant materials. Examples of these types of materials being used in modern basket making are rayon, corrugated fiberglass, wood, paper, bamboo, rubber, jute, wheat, corn, potatoes, squash, buckwheat, sisal, jute, corn silk, and cotton. With advancements in technology, the types of plant materials used also changed from natural fibers to synthetic fibers.
Today, the modern art of basketry is practiced by many women and men all over the world. There is a wide network of vendors and manufacturers who sell tools and equipment that are needed to make wicker baskets, jute or any other type of basket. Many of these people are also willing to make custom made baskets for those who prefer a more standard design or who want to design their own pattern. For those who have a passion for making simple but elegant baskets, there is no substitute for a basket maker who specializes in plant materials.
In the past few decades there has been a resurgence in interest in the basket making process. Many prominent cultural figures have encouraged the making of special baskets for special holidays and events such as Halloween. As well, basket making has become socially acceptable in the United States. One reason for this is the revival of folk art traditions. Folk artists have been revitalized by the popularity of basket weaving and now produce beautiful decorative baskets for consumers who appreciate quality.
Because of the resurgence of interest in basket making there are many websites on which skilled basket makers from all over the world can offer their wares. Many of these online merchants even provide instructions on the weaving techniques that they use. Many of these artists encourage potential customers to make their own creations. If you enjoy making your own items from plant materials and would like to create unique decorative baskets, you should look into the opportunity to learn the basics of basket making using simple tools and materials from your own home.