A basket can be made of many materials, depending on the material used. Cedar bark and spruce roots are common basketry materials, as are cattail leaves and tule, maidenhair fern stems, horsetail root, and various grasses. Different materials have different properties, and some look shiny, while others are matte. Choosing a material for your basket will greatly affect the type of weaving technique you choose. The process of making a basket is an art form in itself, and there are many different materials, designs, and techniques you can use.
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If you are interested in creating a basket that is unique, you can follow these instructions. Begin by choosing the design you like. Once you have chosen a design, you can gather the materials and purchase tools to make it. The fibers may need to be soaked or dyed before you begin weaving. You can also shape the base of the basket with spokes and use the remaining ends for the top edge of the basket’s sides. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even dye the fibers before you begin weaving.
If you want a more stylized basket, try the Twana people in western Washington. They are famous for their basketry with bands of birds and animals. They also use other designs and give them names. Some of these designs, like wolves and fireweed shells, have their own names. You can even add a crest to your basket – it’s up to you! You can find your own family symbol on a totem pole.
Native Americans had a strong basket-making tradition, and their products were in high demand in the mid-1800s. When the Philippines became a part of the United States, the rural Filipinos continued to produce baskets for the urban market. This mutual need for baskets led to the establishment of basket weaving schools. The only books available on this topic were written about Native American basketry, but these schools taught Filipinos the same skill. The result? Today, the Philippines are a major basket-making hub.
The name basket is related to the ancient Mesopotamians who believed that the world was created by a wicker raft. Baskets were used by ancient Egyptian bakers to hold baked loaves of bread. In the Bible, baskets were used to carry the baby Moses. Many cultures used willow to make baskets and other materials. The Japanese, Chinese, and Romans also used willow. For centuries, people around the world used baskets to carry bread, fruit, and other items.