Basket Weaving Terms and Techniques
You will need a pan or pail for water, pinch clothespins, a yardstick, pencil, clippers or heavy scissors, an awl or small flat screwdriver, and a surform shaver.
Commercial reed needs to be soaked in warm water for about ten minutes. Ash, cherry and walnut need less soaking time.
Laying Out the Base
Bases are laid out in a basic over 1/under 1 weave, each row being opposite its
neighbor. Start with 3 x 3 spokes, centered, and grow to the required number of spokes for
each basket's directions.
Twining is a weave normally using round reed. Use a long piece of the size specified
(or use 2 pieces) and find the center. Give it a twist between your fingers (or crimp it
with a needlenose pliers) and fold it in half. Hook it over a spoke and bring both ends
out to the front.
Triple twining is twining with three pieces of round reed instead of two pieces. Use
three pieces of reed starting: one behind one spoke, one behind the next (second) spoke to
the right, and one behind the next (third) spoke to the right, with ends coming out to the
To "upsett" means to gently bend up the spokes at the base perimeters. This just makes the upward weaving easier.
To Weave a Row
Unless specified, normal weaving is weaving one row at a time, over one/under one.
Weave with the good side of the reed (smooth, less splintery side) towards the outside of
the basket. Place the end of the reed on the outside of a spoke.
To finish a row, overlap your piece of reed by four spokes and cut it off. If woven
correctly, both ends will be hidden. The end of the weaver will slip into weaving at the
beginning of that same row.
Consecutive rows are opposite the row before it (if over/under, then under/over). Be sure to rotate your basket so that all your stop/starts will not be on the same side. Try to start far enough to the left on each side, so that you don't have to "overlap by four" around a corner. Also be sure to pack down the rows as you weave so that there are no spaces showing between the rows of weaving.
Fold and Tuck
Unless specified, you will fold and tuck the outside spokes. Fold from the outside, the
end of a spoke and tuck it into a row (or rows) of weaving on the inside of the basket. It
is best to fold it over, cut off any excess, and then tuck it in to get a clean finish.
The inside spokes can be cut off with the top of the last row of weaving.
Wrap the Rim
To wrap the rim means to take two pieces of reed and wrap one around the inside and one
around the outside of the rim, with a two to three inch overlap. Have the inside rim
overlap on the opposite side that the outside ends do - and try to avoid overlapping rims
at the handle. The rim covers the top row of weaving.
Rim filler is usually seagrass or round reed and lays between the two rim pieces to make a nice, clean finish to the rim.
Lashing the Rim
Using 1/4" flat or cane, lash the rim to the basket (this is a lot like sewing).
Bury the ends by going under the inside rim and down the inside of your basket, under the
weavers. Lash a "stitch" over the rim, coming out in between the rim and your
second row of weaving. Remember - your rim is covering the top row of weaving. Make a
stitch" between every set of spokes. You will want to make an "X" at
Wrapping the Handle
If you are using reed for the handle, you will want to wrap the handle with reed for a
finished look. Start with a new piece of 1/4" flat, burying the end on the inside of
the basket. Tightly wrap the handle with the 1/4" flat, each row snug to the row
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