The art of basket weaving is as ancient as civilization itself, and as much a part of Southern culture as bourbon and barbeque, particularly with the Gullah/Geechee sweetgrass tradition in the South Carolina Lowcountry (and the most famous living weaver, Mary Jackson, leading the modern charge).
Even now, eons after the first examples appeared in places such as Egypt and China to hold grain, textiles, foodstuffs, and more, basketry is still very much a practical art form. And there is perhaps no better time than the start of a new year in the middle of a pandemic to consider avoiding plain old plastic tubs and acquiring instead a few new (environmentally friendly!) woven options to corral the same kinds of stuff in your own home.
Take a look at our favorite uses for baskets, and an example best suited to them, here.
Truly, this Ubunifu bowl, woven by female artisans in Uganda working with the fair-trade organization All Across Africa, looks more like a painting than a basket—just consider it the world’s most beautiful place to keep odds and ends. $80; dearkeaton.com
Use: Plant Containers
The houseplant renaissance is at its height and both sizes of these scalloped sisal baskets from Jayson Home & Garden look stunning potted up with forced bulbs or greenery. Just don’t forget to add a liner. $65 each; jaysonhome.com
This sturdy, tightly woven, extra-large wicker option from the Basket Lady is made to order and patinas naturally with age and use. It’s also great for hiding mountains of to-be-folded-at-some-point piles of clothes. $95; basketlady.com
This set of three soft sisal baskets made in Kenya from Jayson Home & Garden are wonderful for easily sorting and storing toys of every stripe (including rogue Legos). $34–$46; jaysonhome.com
The North Carolina artisan Billie Ruth Sudduth hand weaves this footed design from reed splints and oak to mimic the architecture of raised cottages across the South, and the basket features the perfect dimensions to hold all your back issues of Garden & Gun. $200; etsy.com
The striking oval design of this naturally dyed raffia basket from All Across Africa celebrates the regional basketry traditions of Rwanda. Each example arrives with the story of the weaver who created it and no two are alike. And it’s an ideal piece of art that doubles as camouflage for clutter in an entryway or on a bookshelf. $68; dearkeaton.com
Banana leaves form the organic material used to create this deep brown basket by Mainly Baskets. Every example is woven in the Philippines and the generous size works well for storing firewood in winter. $189; mainlybaskets.com
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