How To Care For Jute Baskets

natural jute basket

Handmade woven baskets carry out a variety of household duties with some serious aplomb. They can be used in endless ways to provide storage throughout your home. Over time, their use often changes as our household layouts, needs and taste shift. Baskets also contribute a significant decorative feature to interiors, adding layers of welcome texture and softness that work in harmony with other elements in a room. Given their credentials, it is prudent to invest in quality baskets that will stand the test of time - taking the time to care for them well will also ensure their long life.

The Dharma Door basket collection has been designed with all of this in mind. Each one is handmade – from start to finish – by fair trade artisans living in communities throughout Bangladesh. Using the finest grade of naturally-treated jute fibres available, these skilled women create each basket using a variety of techniques, before fastening everything in place using a needle and thread to ensure its quality. This attention to detail allows each basket to be both beautiful and strong, with each one bearing the mark of its maker.

We want to help you make the most of each basket, so have compiled some common sense cleaning and care tips to help you do just that.

jute baskets for storage

What to expect when you receive your basket

When your basket arrives it will be folded flat in a satchel or box. It will have been folded in this way since it left the artisans’ hands. This helps to reduce freight costs so we can offer low or no postage costs to you.

After unpacking your basket, take some time to give it some attention. This will help it to look like the baskets you see in our images. Sometimes fold marks or creases may initially affect how your basket stands. Jute is pliable, so can be coaxed into place. We suggest you do this by folding the creases back on themselves - in the opposite direction to how they’ve been folded. Do this a few times to gently mould the basket into shape until the creases become less obvious.

Another trick is to place a heavy blanket or towels in your basket overnight to help it along. These methods will help your basket to find it’s shape again, allowing it to sit beautifully in your home for many years to come.

natural baskets

Due to their handmade nature, every basket is unique

Artisanal objects have long been appreciated for their uniqueness. Because our woven baskets have been completely crafted by hand, they are one of a kind and often bear the marks of its maker. We believe that this is the part of the special appeal of hand woven products. This may mean that your basket appears slightly different to images you have seen. The colour may also vary slightly in different lighting. We hope you will appreciate the individuality of each piece as much as we do.

jute woven baskets

Be mindful of the sun as it can alter the colour of jute fibres

We always choose the highest quality blonde jute for our baskets, however jute will yellow with too much exposure to the sun, so be sure to keep it clear of harsh rays. Keep this in mind when you are positioning your basket - it may mean that you reposition them as the light from various seasons change or possibly inch them away from windows and doorways.

Keep an eye on water and moisture

If you're planning to use as a plant basket, place a tray in the bottom that is larger than the pot to catch any excess water. Ideally the sides of the tray should be at least 1cm high. This will allow you to use a simple pot with a hole at the bottom, providing better drainage for healthier plants.

To give your plants a deep water every now and then remove them from the basket if possible and take them outside or to the laundry sink or bathtub. Allow them to drain thoroughly before placing them back into the basket. Take this opportunity to shake out any dust or debris that may have found it’s way into your basket.

jute baskets natural decorSimple steps to clean your basket and minimise stains

To clean your basket, take it outside on a dry day occasionally and shake it to dislodge dirt and dust particles. Or you might prefer to vacuum your basket. Jute can harbour mould if it is left damp for prolonged periods. So blot water-based spills with kitchen paper or an absorbent cloth as soon as possible, allowing your basket to dry thoroughly before using it again.

Do not rub stains or spills from your basket as this may spread the stain and loosen the jute fibres. For oil-based or coloured spills, please consult a specialist cleaning professional.

You may choose a protection treatment prior to using your basket. We recommend MicroSeal who offer DIY protection and cleaning kit suitable for protecting jute fibres from dirt and UV light.

black jute basketsEnjoy a myriad of uses!

There are so many ways to use your baskets. We love using large baskets to store laundry, children's toys and dress ups. Medium baskets are a fantastic way to style up your favourite potted plant or shelf and small baskets work equally well as storage and decoration throughout your home. Check out our other journal posts on this topic and gain inspiration from the jute basket collection pages.



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