Category Archives: BASKETRY

Information, patterns and resources for basket weaving.

Sparto Weavers Spanish Broom

Sparto (Sparta) Spartium junceum also called Spanish Broom or Weavers Broom is an almost forgotten textile plant that is native to Mediterranean countries. Spanish Broom was introduced to North America and other countries where it has spread in many areas and has become a menace. However, Sparto was once a very useful textile plant.
There are references to weavers broom plants being used for making ropes, footwear, nets, mats, cloth and stuffing for pillows. The flowers are fragrant and can be used for making scented soaps and perfumes. The flowers are also a good source for yellow dyes.
It is thought that the use of Sparto as a textile plant diminished because the fibre is more difficult to process by mechanical means, compared to flax.

Sparto - Spartiumjunceum
Sparto – Spartiumjunceum

The Sparto plants grow along the rocky seasides of coastal Corfu, Greece.

I go on holidays to Corfu every year, where I have a chance to visit with my friend Agathi the weaver. Every time I visit, she pulls some wonderful textile treasure from her many shelves and tells me about it. This time, it was a bedspread made of hand spun Sparto that was made as part of her dowry.


As Agathi does not spin, the Sparto yarn was hand spun by a friend of hers, using a drop spindle. The bedspread was woven on a narrow loom and neatly stitched together in long panels. The handspun Sparto yarn was used as weft along with cotton yarns.

Agathi explained how the Sparto was collected and processed for hand spinning. The process is very similar to that of processing flax fibre.
The stalks of the Sparto plant are cut and then laid to ret in sea water along the shore. Rocks are placed on top of the fibres to keep the Sparto from floating away. This retting process usually takes 3-4 days. The warm salty water breaks down and softens the fibre so that it can be removed from the plant.
The fibrous part is on the outer core of the plant and the woody stem is in the centre. After retting, the fibre is dried and then beaten with a rock or wooden mallet (or scrutched) to help break up the woody core. Agathi described the fibre that is removed as being ‘soft and cottony’ The fibre is then hackled or combed and spun with the drop spindle.

Agathi said that the best time to collect Sparto is in May or June when the stalks are tender and green. I took a short foraging trip along the coast line to see if I could find some of these plants. In September, most of the Sparto have dried and are in seed, but I did find a few plants that were still green. I cut some stalks and brought them home for sampling.
(In the UK, you can purchase Spartium lyceum plants but they are not very hardy in our climate.)

As we live by the seaside, we took a short trip to collect some seawater for my experiments.

Sea Water Collection
Sea Water Collection

I had collected about 400 grams of Sparto stalks, so I placed these into a large bucket of sea water. The stalks are quite long so I had to fold them to fit them into the bucket.

I will leave the Sparta fibre to ret for a few days and check them daily to watch progress.

Well, it took more than a few days to ret the Sparto – more like a month. I suppose England is not as warm as the mediterranean sea.
The soaking bucket fermented and the Sparto stalks have softened.
I removed them from the bucket and rinsed the stalks with the garden hose. The stalks are now drying in my airing cupboard.

References
Sparto – A Greek Textile Plant
Helen Bradley-Griebel

The Revival of Sparto
University of the Aegean, Dept of Product and Design Engineering
A research study on the potential of a forgotten natural fiber in today’s world

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Fantti coiled basket: aa012905

Fantti yarn is a new type of yarn from Finland. Fantti yarn is wool pencil roving that has been slightly felted. It can be used for making baskets, woven as weft for flat or tufted rugs, tapestries or other creative textile projects.

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  • Cut 6 strands of 12 ply hemp (white) each 24 inches long
  • Cut 6 strands of 12 ply hemp (natural)each 24 inches long
  • (Substitute strong linen or cotton yarn)
  • Weave (interlace) them together to form the base for the basket
  • If you find them a bit tricky to weave together you can use tape to secure the yarn ends to a table while you are weaving them.

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  • Using the Fantti yarn begin to weave the yarn in a circular fashion around the woven square base of the basket, leaving an end of approx. 2 inches. This end will be woven into the base of the basket after you have finished.
  • Each alternate “warp” hemp thread goes under the Fantti “weft” thread, loops around and back under around the Fantti “weft” thread. This forms a loop around the Fantti yarn The alternate “warp” thread is simply looped over the Fantti yarn.
  • On the next row of the alternate warp thread is looped around the Fantti weft thread.
  • Once you have worked around a couple of rows, pull and tighten the hemp “warp” threads.
  • Continue weaving in this fashion to complete the basket.

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  • Weave the basket until you have approx. 1 inch of warp threads remaining. Wrap these around the top row of the basket.
  • Weave the end of the warp thread to the inside rim of the basket and trim. I used a small crochet hook to tuck the ends in.

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Fantti Yarn

Fanttilanka
Where to find Fantti yarn.
Fantti Yarn Rug
An example of a rug woven with Fantti wool yarn.

Finnish Weaving Techniques

Raanu
Rya rugs
Takana
Poppana
Handiscola

Basketry Weaving

Pine Needle Basketry: From Forest Floor to Finished Project

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Book Store: Basketry books

Splint Woven Basketry
30 elegant basket styles using splint materials–wood and grass pounded or split into flat strips. Shapes include traditional egg, melon, feather, cradle, oriole, shaker, and others.

Natural Baskets
Natural Baskets features baskets and garden ornaments of barks such as birch and red pine; grasses and leaves such as cattails, cornhusks, yucca, iris, and pine needles; vines such as red-twig dogwood, willow, and honeysuckle; and horsehair.

Handmade Baskets: From Nature’s Colourful Materials
Handmade Baskets emphasizes collecting natural materials for basketry.

The Art of Basketry
This is a guide through basic and progressively more complex basketry techniques illustrated with Lonning’s rattan reed baskets.

Twill Basketry: A Handbook of Designs Techniques, and Styles
Basic blocks and diamond patterns as well as variations on the two; creating folded baskets, undulating twills and double weaving.

Pine Needle Basketry: From Forest Floor to Finished Project
Create picturesque pine needle baskets, miniatures, trays, pencil holders and more. Special sections address dyeing needles, making lids and handles, techniques, and gathering and storing materials.

Indian Basket Weaving
Basic techniques — preparation of the reed, splicing, introduction of color, shaping and finishing, more. Also descriptions of a great variety of weaves — Lazy Squaw, Mariposa, Taos, Shilo

Hopi Basket Weaving: Artistry in Natural Fibers
This book is filled with photographs and detailed descriptions of their beautiful baskets–the one art, above all others, that creates the strongest social bonds in Hopi life. In these pages, weavers open their lives to the outside world as a means of sharing an art form especially demanding of time and talent. The reader learns how plant materials are gathered in canyons and creek bottoms, close to home and far away.

Appalachian White Oak Basketmaking: Handing Down Basket

Baskets: A Book for Makers and Collectors
This book offers inspiration and instruction, beginning with the tools and materials, basic techniques and dyes and continuing to various techniques.

Handmade Baskets: 28 Beautiful Baskets to Make for Your Home
A glossary of terms, descriptions and drawings of tools and materials, an explanation of weaving variations, and answers to technical questions.
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Handiscola Project: aa021504

Handiscola
Instructions for weaving baskets with birch bark (in .pdf format). The English translation begins on Page 11.

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Handiscola
Handiscola was an EU project that brought together participants from European countries to learn and increase appreciation for traditional handicrafts.

Ribbon Plaiting

Naalbinding
The downloadable .pdf file includes instructions for making mittens, a hat, a scarf, socks and a pouch for your mobile phone. And even has instructions for making a bone needle from a leg of an animal.

Felting
Instructions are given for making a bag, a ball and flat felt work.

Embroidery
Instructions for basic embroidery stitches and some lovely floral motifs.

Rug Weaving
History and details for how to weave a wool rya rug. Some of the other Handiscola projects included:

Ceramics

Bookbinding

One Log Boat

Wood Carving

The above .pdf documents are translated into several languages (English, Estonian, Greek, Hungarian and Latvian). I suggest that you browse through the complete documents before printing as good photos and images are scattered throughout the pages. Then print out just the pages that you need in your language.

The above links don’t seem to be active any more – so I have included copies of the pdf files here:

Birch Bark Basketry
Book Binding
Ceramics
Embroidery
Felting
Log Boatmaking
Nallbinding
Ribbon Plaiting
Rya Rugs
Wood Carving

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Easter Basketry Projects: basket-easter

JB Designs Basketry
A great place to find basketry supplies and free patterns.

Daffodil Basket
A free pattern for a springtime basket made with flat reed.

Easter Basket
A cute Easter basket pattern from Weaver’s Stain

Basketmakers Catalog
A nice collection of free basketry patterns.

Easter Basket
A free Easter basketry pattern from A Handwoven Life.

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Easter Crafts

Felted Eggs
Easter Knitting Patterns
Easter Crochet Patterns
Easter Cross Stitch and Needlework Patterns
Easter Clipart
Easter Weaving, Dyeing and Spinning Crafts
Natural Easter Egg Dyes
Easter Beadwork
Easter Tapestry
Easter Basketry
Easter Feltmaking

Basketry Books

The Techniques of Basketry

Basketry: The Nantucket Tradition

Gourds + Fiber: Embellishing Gourds with Basketry, Weaving, Stitching, Macramé & More: Embellishing Gourds with Basketry, Weaving, Stitching, Macramé & More

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Vintage Floor Loom Weaving 4 Harness, 6 Treadle with Warp

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Cedar Bark Weaving – Anna Billy: blabilly

As part of the Gibsons Landing Fibre Festival, held during the week of August 13 – 19, 2001, Anna Billy taught a class in traditional cedar bark weaving. Workshop participants learned how to weave a cedar bark basket using plaiting and twining techniques of the centuries-old Coast Salish tradition.

The bark was harvested for these baskets in the early spring. If done properly, the bark removal doesn’t harm the cedar trees, making this a tree-friendly fibre craft.

Cedar Rose
made by Anna Billy
cedar bark rose

Weaving with Cedar Bark Class

cedar bark weaving

cedar bark baskets

The cedar bark is soaked in water until it is soft. The cedar strips are woven and then held in place by twining with narrow strips of rafia or cedar bark.

cedar bark basket

Cedar Bark Basket
Cedar Bark Basket

The edge of the basket is finished by folding the bark over. It can be folded inside the basket or folded outside to create a decorative edge. The cedar bark can also be torn into narrow strips to create a fringe.

More About Cedar Bark:

Cedar Bark Traditional Gathering Methods

An article from the U’Mista News describes the method for gathering cedar bark.

Julie Joseph

Julie Joseph is a member of the Ditidaht band and has been weaving with cedar bark for over 30 years.

Lisa Tilford
Haida basket weaver, Lisa Tilford, explains how she harvests cedar bark for spinning and weaving baskets.

Basketry Books
Harvesting Cedar Bark: From Windfall And Salvage For Basketry
Pine Needle Basketry: From Forest Floor to Finished Project
Earth Basketry

The Chilkat Blanket
Chilkat blanket weaving originated with the Tsimshian people and spread to the Tlingit. Wool from goats was blended with cedar bark and dyed with lichen (wolf moss) for yellow, urine and hemlock bark for brown and copper and urine for blue/green.

Cedar Bark Dyes
I dyed some wool with cedar bark. Here’s how.

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Cedar Bark Weaving: aa012699

The cedar tree was a very versatile material, used by the First Nations peoples of the Pacific northwest. The bark yields a red dye and can be woven into baskets, hats and spun into fine clothing.

The inner layer of cedar bark was carefully removed from the tree, by making a horizontal cut in the bark. A portion of the soft inner bark was separated and rolled up and hung to dry. When dry. the bark was cut into strips, ready for making mats or baskets. The yellow cedar bark was soaked, boiled and beaten, similar to the retting process for flax fibers. Garments made from yellow cedar were soft and pliable and were worn to shed the rain

The image portfolio of the Curtis Collection has an amazing collection of photos of cedar bark clothing and life on Clayoquot Sound.
Julie Joseph was taught the ancient techniques of cedar bark weaving by her grandmother. Today she makes innovative use of this medium to create hats, baskets, dolls and wall hangings.
Other Indian artists also work with cedar bark, cedar root, bear grass, horse tail and other traditional materials. But many have difficulties finding the cedar trees that sustained their life for centuries. “It’s harder to find the materials now because – where are the cedar trees now? All the low lands and the swamps, they’re all gone, all logged off. Miles and miles of nothing.” Richard Cultee

More about Cedar Bark Weaving

Cedar Bark Dyes
I used cedar bark to dye wool. Here’s how I did it.

Salish Blankets

Cedar Basketry Workshop

Cedar Bark Weaving – Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre – You Tube

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Vintage Floor Loom Weaving 4 Harness, 6 Treadle with Warp

$650.00
End Date: Monday Dec-30-2019 20:10:41 PST
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XXL Extra Large Weaving Loom Kit (89cm x 87cm) | Professional Tapestry Loom

$100.00
End Date: Thursday Dec-12-2019 18:31:08 PST
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Valentines Day Basketry: basket-valentine

Valentine’s Day links to information, free patterns, shops and resources for basket weaving.

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Valentine Heart Basket
Free instructions for how to make a basket with a heart for Valentines.

Candle Caddy
A Valentine candle caddy.

Basketmaster Weavings
A heart basket weaving pattern

Weaved Heart Basket
An origami basket design

Simple Valentine Basket
How to weave a small basket trimmed with red

More Valentine’s Day Crafts

St. Valentine’s Day Knitting

St. Valentine’s Day Cross Stitch

St. Valentine’s Day Beadwork

St. Valentine’s Day Basketry

St. Valentine’s Day Weaving

St. Valentine’s Day Clipart

Holiday Basketry

More Valentine’s Day Projects

Basketry Patterns
Easter Basketry

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Vintage Floor Loom Weaving 4 Harness, 6 Treadle with Warp

$650.00
End Date: Monday Dec-30-2019 20:10:41 PST
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XXL Extra Large Weaving Loom Kit (89cm x 87cm) | Professional Tapestry Loom

$100.00
End Date: Thursday Dec-12-2019 18:31:08 PST
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Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Vintage Little Loomhouse 4 Harness Weaving Loom & 4 Treadle Table Stand BIN

$245.00
End Date: Monday Dec-9-2019 17:36:28 PST
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