Behind the Weave -The Basket Edit

Behind the Weave -The Basket Edit

A basket can be so much more than purely functional. When handwoven with natural fibres, a beautiful basket has the added benefit of bringing a shelf, console or corner of a room to life. Introducing an element of handmade texture to your home will also help to create character and a layer of interest that can be especially helpful in rooms with an abundance of hard surfaces like a bathroom, laundry or kitchen. With careful selection, you can find the right baskets for your space to provide practical purpose, timeless style and the warmth of woven texture.
Our basket collection features a variety of weaves that are handmade from start to finish with a wide range of crafting techniques and natural fibres that are unique to the artisans’ communities. Different to other baskets, there’s also a heartwarming story of women’s empowerment behind every twist, plait and weave in our collection. That’s because each piece is sourced through genuine Fair Trade partnerships which ensure fair payment, safe working conditions and so much more for the talented women who handcraft our baskets. 
In this journal article, we explore the texture variations and the craftswomanship behind our basket collection to help you choose the perfect weave for your space. 

TWISTED, WOVEN & KNOTTED JUTE 

Some of our most-loved baskets begin with twisting natural jute by hand. Our artisan partners tie natural, locally-sourced strands of jute around posts on their verandahs and hand twist the jute to create continuous lengths of “cord” as the artisans refer to it. This cord is twisted in varying thicknesses depending on the size and scale of the finished product and is then used to craft a variety of different items in our collection. Below, we go into more detail about how this twisted cord is used for our Sona, Seafarer, Woven Pots, Jamina and Laina baskets. 

 

handtwisted jute basket crafting technique artisan image

SONA & SEAFARER BASKETS 

To create the Sona Square, Rectangle and Small Duo Baskets, the Woven Pot Duo & Large, the Seafarer Small & Large and Seafarer Laundry Baskets, this cord is twisted to the correct thicknesses for the size of the basket - thinner for smaller baskets and thicker for larger baskets - because this is what helps to maintain the structural integrity of the final piece. Each basket is carefully woven and knotted around a mould to ensure consistency in shape and size every single time. The result of this intricate twist, weave and knot technique is a simple yet textural woven pattern that is both strong and aesthetically beautiful. Other products in our collection made with this technique are the Dari Rug Small and Dari Rug Large. 

 Sona and Seafarer Natural Jute basket weave technique layout

JAMINA BASKETS

The classic basketweave pattern of our Jamina Basket is meticulously crafted by weaving groups of four rows of finely twisted jute in different directions - over and under - until the final design is created. These baskets are beautifully finished with thick rows of woven jute around the top and the final result is a timeless, neutral basket that can be used in any room of the home for practical storage.The Jamina basket is lined with hand loomed natural cotton fabric and sewn together in a small Fair Trade sewing centre. Another products in our collection with this weave is the Jamina Tote.   

 

Jamina Basket, natural jute basket weave technique layout

LAINA BASKETS

Handcrafted with a contemporary linear macrame design in natural jute, the Laina Basket will work well within many different interior styles. The open blonde weave sits against a natural hand loomed cotton lining, creating a lighter and fresher look that is especially suited to a coastal aesthetic. The Laina Basket is crafted by women who have been practising jute macrame for three generations and the finalpiece sewn together in a small Fair Trade sewing centre. Another products in our collection with this weave is the Laina Tote. 

 

Laina basket hand twisted jute baskets natural jute  

PLAITED & HAND-STITCHED JUTE

 

braided technique, handcrafted jute baskets

 

A timeless classic, our plaited jute weave collection was the very first basket style in our collection and continues to be appreciated because it is easy to layer into any interior. Natural blonde jute is sorted, brushed and hand braided into long lengths by our artisan partners in remote village communities of Bangladesh. The braids are then coiled and each row is carefully hand stitched to the next with a needle and thick cotton thread to ensure the baskets are structured and strong. During the process of making, our skilled artisan partners meticulously measure as they go to maintain the correct shape and size until the final basket design is created. You will find this enduring weave in our Jute Laundry Basket, Small Rectangle Jute Basket, Trio of Round Jute Baskets, Jute Tray BasketSmall Square Jute Basket, Large Jute Basket, Large Round Jute Basket and Jute Bowls. You'll also find this weave in many of our jute Floor Rugs, Runners and Mats.

 

 

Plaited Jute basket natural handmade weave layout

WOODEN LOOM WEAVE

 

loom weaving artisans for crafting jute baskets

 

Artisans in a traditional weaving community makes the fabric for our Soha Baskets on wooden looms. They weave  in small buildings that are set up as shared weaving spaces or on the verandahs of their homes. For this textile design, thewomen first plait long strands of blonde jute, and then weave the plaits together with coloured cotton thread on wooden looms row by row, before stitching the ends using a needle and thread. This fabric has a lovely subtle vertical line due to the way it’s been woven and the hand stitching around the top of the basket adds an extra element of handmade finishing. The final Soha basket is lined with hand loomed natural cotton fabric and sewn together in a small Fair Trade sewing centre. Other products in our collection with this weave are the Lahari Floor RunnersMalu PlacematsMalu Table Runners.

 

 

Handmade Jute Basket Natural Soha Basket The Dharma Door

 

BACKSTRAP LOOMED JUTE

 

Fair trade artisan crafting boda basket weave

 

In a remote tribal region of Bangladesh, women have been practising the art of natural dyeing, hand-rolling and weaving jute on backstrap looms for many generations. The fabric on the outside of our Boda Baskets is crafted by this talented group of artisans. First, they roll natural jute between their hands to create tightly spun strings in preparation for weaving. The women then boil large cast iron pots of water over open fires to soak and dye the natural jute string and hang it to dry on bamboo poles. Backstrap looms are hand-built with bamboo and the artisans sit on the floor with a piece of woven fabric around their waists to support them while they slowly weave lengths of fabric by hand. The result is a variegated and rustic textural finish with an earthy aesthetic.Other products in our collection with this weave are the Uttam Totes, Jumbo Jute Totes and Tantu Shoppers.

 

 

Handmade Boda Basket Jute Basket The Dharma Door
 

HANDWOVEN PALM FIBRE

 

Artisan crafting palm fibre baskets using handcrafted technique

 

Our palm fibre Buna Baskets are crafted with a technique that has been used for centuries by artisans the world over. Our artisan partners in Bangladesh begin the process by creating thin strips of palm fibre from the centre of locally-grown dried palm leaves. They then bundle strips of firm natural grass, known as Kaisa grass - the thickness of the bundles is determined by the size and scale of the finished basket designs. The baskets begin to take shape as the women wrap and weave the strips of palm fibre around the bundles of kaisa grass until the firm and structured baskets are formed. The light natural tones of the palm fibre and delicate texture will suit many interior styles. You'll also find this weave in our Pata Trays, Palm Leaf Coasters & Placemats.

 

 

 

HANDWOVEN GRASS 

Located in a tropical village surrounded by coconut palms in rural Bangladesh, our artisan partners begin by collecting, drying and sorting a locally-grown grass to make our collection of Grass Baskets. They use a flat basket weaving technique for the base which is closed so belongings can’t fall through and a twisted open weaving for the sides. Our grass baskets are perfect for adding a functional, textural touch to a shelf or console. 

 

Pathi Grass Basket Handmade FairTrade Basket The Dharma Door


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