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What Are the Different Types of Basket Weaving Materials?

By Anna B. Smith
Updated May 16, 2024
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The different types of basket weaving materials are soaked reeds, dried sea grass, and wooden accents. Any combination of these materials can be combined together to make a wide variety of basket shapes, sizes, and styles. These items may be purchased at local specialty craft stores, or through Internet ordering. Some basket weaving suppliers also sell patterns and full inclusive kits which provide every material a new or experienced weaver may need to complete one project.

Reeds are a basic material that can be used alone to create an entire basket, including the base of the basket, as well as the woven sides and carrying handle. This material is available flat or rounded, and is typically sized according to the width of the material. Flat reeds can be woven together and used as a sturdy base for the basket, while round reeds are interwoven into the sides and used as a rim. Standard reeds are generally light brown or beige in color, and can be dyed to suit any decorating preferences. These basket weaving materials may also be purchased in a rich, dark deep brown, which is also known as smoked.

Dried sea grass, like reeds, is typically a light beige color naturally, and can be dyed any shade before weaving into a basket. This type of material is lighter and more pliable than reeds, and somewhat less durable. Unlike reeds, which must typically be soaked in water before use to make them easier to handle, sea grasses are ready for weaving immediately upon purchase. This particular material is typically used as an accenting material, however, and does not constitute the whole form of the basket. Sea grasses may be braided or used in single strips, and woven through any and every level of the basket to create intricate and beautiful overall patterns.

Larger baskets intended to hold more weight may feature wooden bases as opposed to woven reed bases. These bases often feature slots or drilled holes through which the basket weaving materials are run to create the sides of the project. They are carved into circles, ovals, squares, and rectangles to suit a variety of basket styles and sizes. The wood used is generally oak, birch, or ash.

Wood may also be used in basket weaving projects for side accents and handles. Wooden coils are thin, finished strips of wood sized to an exact dimension. They may be placed within the basket weaving pattern at any level, and replace one row of woven reeds. These coils may be left unfinished to create a visual difference between the different types of basket weaving materials used, or can be painted and stenciled with any design. Wooden handles are typically oval or D shaped, and can be attached to basket rims using reed and sea grass woven securely around the edges.

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Discussion Comments

By Spotiche5 — On Nov 02, 2014

Rounded reeds are also great for making baskets, especially those that have smooth, rounded shapes. I have used this type of basket weaving material to make round baskets for many years, and they always look great.

Rounded reeds are also easy to dye. A good tip to follow is to dye the reeds and let them dry at least a few days before using them. This will ensure that you get rich, lasting color for the baskets you weave.

By Rundocuri — On Nov 02, 2014

@ocelot60- I agree with you. My grandmother use to weave baskets out of dried sea grass and dye them to match the decor in various rooms of the house. I also remember them being very durable, because she use to use them to carry fruits and vegetables that she grew on her farm.

By Ocelot60 — On Nov 01, 2014

I love using dried sea grass for weaving. I have been weaving baskets for years, and I have used different types of materials for the process. I think that dried sea grass is the easiest to use and the prettiest. I like how you can dye is any color you want, and the result is always beautiful, rich color.

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