Methods Of Willow Basket Weaving

As a basket maker your most essential tool is your hands and specifically your left thumb. Ordinarily, the majority of weaving is performed from left to right, the right hand manipulating the rod which is being worked, and the left hand following up with the thumb in front and the forefinger at the back or inside of basket.

The exception to this rule is when we are weaving rectangular bottoms and lids and sometimes in the sides of baskets, e.g., baskets with band holes and dog baskets which have an opening in side, work is done from right to left, in which case the positions of the hands are reversed.

Particular attention should be taken to the importance of using correct pressure with your thumb when placing the rod in position and holding it firmly against the stick or stake while it is being woven to the front or back . It is incorrect to work the stroke loosely and then by pushing and pulling to attempt to tighten it afterwards, as it will have been kinked in the wrong place. When a kink is formed, the rod permanently loses its resiliency in the part that has been kinked.

The methods of weaving covered in this website are Pairing, Randing, Slewing and the Three Rod Wale.These are the most common methods used in willow basketry and as this book is intended to get you started on your weaving journey as quickly as possible,we will not cover any of the other advanced techniques in detail.

It is strongly recommended that you practice these techniques by following the video links included,to facilitate your learning and creativity.Basket weaving cannot be learnt from a book alone and the videos are designed to provide you with a learning experience akin to attending a live weaving class.



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The Willow Handbook is your quick start guide to the ancient craft of Willow Basket Weaving.

Inside The Willow Handbook you will learn:

  • Methods of cultivation, harvesting and preparation of Willow
  • Work space and tools required for basket weaving
  • Technical terms and essential weaving techniques

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