Basketry Techniques

Basketry Techniques

Basketry types:
Basketry can be classified into four types: Catherine Erdly
• "Coiled" basketry using grasses and rushes
• "Plaiting" basketry using materials that are wide and ribbon-like, such as palms, yucca or New Zealand flax
• "Twining" basketry using materials from roots and tree bark. Twining actually refers to a weaving technique where two or more flexible weaving elements ("weavers") cross each other as they weave through the stiffer radial spokes.
• "Wicker" and "Splint" basketry using reed, cane, willow, oak, and ash

Basketry is made from a variety of fibrous or pliable materials•anything that will bend and form a shape. Examples include pine straw, stems, animal hair, hide, grasses, thread, and wood, wheat straw, banana leaves, olive tree, palm tree leaves, etc...

Products usually made include baskets, mats, coasters, bags, and home accessories.

The basket weaving process:
The parts of a basket are the base, the side walls, and the rim. A basket may also have a lid, handle, or embellishments.
Most baskets begin with a base. The base can either be woven with reed or wooden. A wooden base can come in many shapes to make a wide variety of shapes of baskets. The 'static' pieces of the work are laid down first. In a round basket they are referred to as 'spokes'; in other shapes they are called 'stakes' or 'staves'. Then the 'weavers' are used to fill in the sides of a basket.
A wide variety of patterns can be made by changing the size, color, or by placement of a certain style of weave. To achieve a multi-coloured effect, aboriginal artists first dye the twine and then weave the twines together in elaborate fashions.

Steps to make a basket
1. Start by understanding some basic terms:
Weaver - these are the basket strands that weave through the spokes; they are lighter, thinner and more flexible than the spokes, to enable them to be woven in and out;
Spoke - these are the strands that stand upright and form the side supports of the basket; they are much stiffer than the weavers and are strong.
2. Be familiar with under-and-over-weaving. This is the most commonly used technique. It is also the simplest. The illustration indicates its form.

3. Note that double weaving is the same form but two weavers are used at once. This is an effective weave on large surfaces, and in bands or patterns of the same or a contrasting colour on plain rattan baskets.

4. Note that pairing may be used with an odd or even number of spokes. Two weavers are started behind two succeeding spokes, and crossed between them, so that what was the under weaver becomes the upper weaver each time.

5. Identify the triple twist. Here, three weavers are placed behind three consecutive spokes, starting with the back one, over two and under one spoke, each on its way to the back of the third spoke being laid over the other two weavers. In turning up the sides of large baskets where separate spokes or additional spokes have been inserted, or as a strong top for scrap baskets, this weave is invaluable.
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