The Cult of Longaberger

Over the years, Longaberger baskets have become a cornerstone of the basket-making business. There is one thing every basket-maker knows about Longaberger, and that’s how much customers really value them. The cult of Longaberger has contributed love amongst thousands of people as these baskets are used as collectibles, for trading, or giving them in the form of gift to their loved ones. Often, collectors pass them onto their future generations. This blog post takes a closer look at Longaberger, and other collectible baskets.

The Making of Longaberger Baskets

The best part about these baskets is that they are handcrafted. They are made of top-quality maple hardwood, meant to be durable. The Longaberger Company doesn’t buy into mass-production to meet demand, but prefer to carefully handcraft them. These baskets are also hand-woven to represent a staple of American craftsmanship. The durability, beauty and the fact that they never lose their credibility are three of the main reasons why fans love to collect them.
The Style & Design Of Longaberger Baskets

Another reason why they are a great attraction is due to their individuality. Because they are handcrafted and handwoven, each basket typically has a slightly different feel and look to it. Once it is made, each basket is signed and dated by its creator. It is amazing how they are ever-changing – in fact their colors change do too as the seasons pass by. Also, collectors love it that their baskets are made to instill different aesthetic flavors. For instance, the American Traditions baskets are created with the rich colors of Maine while the American Work Baskets are designed with a style that ingrains a Shaker and Native American nostalgia.

Caring For Your Longaberger & Other Collectible Wooden Baskets

Just like other wooden products, there are some tips you should remember. First off, keep them off direct sunlight. Sunlight can cause their rich color to fade. Also, keeping them near vents can dry out the wood. It’s recommended to keep them dry and away from damp areas to prevent your wooden basket collectibles from warping.

If you are going to use them rather than having them as collectibles, there is a slim chance that they may pick up stains or spots. However, they can be cleaned with mild soap and warm water. Make sure to wring out your cloth or sponge well, before trying to get rid of stains or marks from the weaving. After cleaning them out, let them air dry before you put them back to use.

Should you encounter any other problem with your baskets that cannot be overcome with these simple tips, be aware that you can always buy stain pens, or repair kids from a store. With little care, your collectibles should look great for years to come.

Conclusion

Avid collectors enjoy that these baskets are woven with such great flavor and individuality that make them put significant time and effort into locating and then buying the baskets. You can find auctions on eBay and websites alike as the fans scurry to snatch them up. In a lot of ways, the collectors’ market ensures that the Longaberger Company has a long way to go.

 

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DIY – How To Weave Cloth Baskets

Ancient people used to weave different useful items using the natural ingredients like thin wood strips, long grasses, straw, palm leaves, etc. In fact, there are many faces of weaving technique apart from textile weaving like basket weaving, hat weaving and much more

Basket Weaving is also known as basketry which involves weaving baskets from different flexible materials like wood strips and other fibers. In fact, animal hair and threads are also used to weave baskets. There are quite some people who earn their living as a basket maker. They often use vibrant dyes to color the twines used to make the basket and then weave them in atypical patterns to give the baskets a different look. Baskets are woven in different shapes and sizes. They are widely adored all over the world for their multiple usages.

DIY – How To Weave Cloth Baskets And Make Money

A complete variety of natural products has been utilized in the weaving of cloth baskets, including grasses, roots, reeds, vines, leaves, raffia and cane. Amazingly, even today baskets are still hand woven, as regardless of our continued expansion with technology and know how man hasn’t ever been ready to create or develop a machine which is capable of mass manufacturing baskets.

Hand woven cloth baskets can add a certain charm or style to any room in your home and except for looking interesting, they may also be extremely functional. You can store all demeanor of cloths in them.The sole limitation is your imagination.

If you want to go a stage further and begin to make your hand woven cloth baskets to sell, the method isn’t as tough as you might imagine. Once you’re a little more experienced in basket weaving and have a better concept of the sorts of baskets you want to form, there are some straightforward steps to follow to get your business off the ground. Invest in, or create, your private business cards and design them to incorporate your name, contact information, and info about the baskets your design.

Look in your local papers for imminent craft shows or holidays and book yourself a stall. Many local Chambers of Commerce will be ready to supply an inventory of forthcoming craft shows, along with contact data. Many folks visit craft fairs, and you’ll make plenty of new contacts and mates by attending them, as well as being in a position to display your baskets and hand out business cards.

Use an online auction site to publicize your baskets. Take pictures and display a price you are ready to accept should any one be interested. Online sites are a good way to reach plenty more people, literally world-wide.

Are there any present local shops, flower shops or specialist shops in your area? If that so takes a sample or 2 of your baskets and visit them to determine if they might have an interest in helping you sell them. They may take a commission for doing so, but this is a good way to get folks to help sell your baskets for you and also helps potential shoppers gain a good impression of you and your work.

So, whether or not you are inquisitive about making hand-woven baskets for pleasure or business, the info you want on this craft is all widely available for you to employ.

 

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Materials Used to Weave Baskets

Basket weaving is the process of sewing or connecting flexible pieces of materials to form artifacts such as containers, baskets or mats for domestic use. Basket weaving is perhaps one of the oldest habits of creativity in human history.
When deciding on weaving a quality basket, one needs to think of a number of factors before settling on the actual process of weaving. Among the important factors to consider is the material of the basket.

Materials used in weaving baskets

Marram grass which is also referred to as bent grass

It also known as bent grass due to their nature in shape. Marram grass is a coastal plant that was used in the Western isles to make different kinds of island baskets. It is commonly used for brushes, ropes, mats, traditional chairs and nets. They can be used when still soft and last longer after drying. The baskets made from marram grass last longer due to their nature to stay intact after drying.

Bramble
This is quite a strong material that can last longer when used in baskets. It can be gathered through choosing long stems that have proper thickness. Bramble can make thick baskets of any given shape and can support any given weight.

Dock plant
Also known as dockens, dock plant hails from Shetland and Orkney and is common in Scotland. The dock weeds are first socked in salt water prior to using them and later dried properly before using them to weave baskets or mats.

Raffia
It is the fiber of the raffia palm. Raffia is commonly known to produce durable strands that can smoothly be dyed to make decorative baskets and mats. This strands can make baskets of any size.

Rattan
It is mostly found in the South East Asia. It is easily identified due to its scale like surface and its length which would mean that baskets made from them will have lesser ends.

Heather
Most mats and baskets from Scotland are made from this plant. To gather this plant, one must pull it from the moor where its known to grow long. They can make baskets light baskets and mats.

Rush plant
Commonly referred to as Soft Rush, rush plant is mostly used to make Scottish baskets. It mostly grows in fields that are poorly drained. It is easier when dried than when first cut.

Straw
This is definitely one of the oldest plant used in basketry. It was common in Scotland. Bundles of straw are gathered together to form orkney chairs and baskets.

Wood
It is at times used to strengthen baskets on the base. They are also used in making baskets when shaved finely. Wood strips can also make huge fishing line baskets.

Sea grass
They are preferred due to their decorative impact on baskets. They are know to make different kinds of baskets from a variety of shapes. Sea grass can also be merged with other plants in weaving baskets due to their decorative nature.

Oval reed
It is often used in numerous round baskets due to their nature in shape. Oval reed is mostly preferred due to their advantage in dying and twining making decorative baskets.

 

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History Of Basket Weaving

Basket weaving is one of the oldest types of craft. In fact this particular type of craft can be traced back to the ancient time. The history of basket weaving shows that basket were commonly used to transport and store different kinds of things. Traces of baskets have been found in the Egyptian pyramids, and also woven basket liners have left their impressions inside the fragments of ancient pottery. Furthermore, studies done shows that baskets were being used even about 12, 000 years ago in different parts of the world.

The oldest remains ever found were found in Northern Egypt and therefore it is believed that the first baskets were made in this area. Traders and explore are responsible of spreading the craft of making baskets to other parts of the world. The traders and explorers would carry their things with baskets. The people from the places they went through would see the baskets and then copy. This is how this craft steadily spread into different parts of the world rapidly. This also explains how different styles of making baskets are found in different places. The most wide spread style of making baskets is the Asian style which was amongst the first ones to be established.

The most used materials to make baskets were grasses and natural fiber. The main reason why these were the mostly used materials is that they are readily available in different parts of the world. Furthermore, they are easy to weave where if made properly they would produce durable baskets. The history of basket weaving shows that initially there were just a few basket weaving techniques. In fact, at the beginning there was just a single technique which was associated with Egypt. But as time progresses more techniques were discovered and consequently spread to other parts of the world. Right now there are so many basket weaving techniques. However, all the modern techniques are developed by the technique used by the people who were making baskets in the ancient times.

The period when basket weaving became main stream is during the industrial revolution. The baskets were used in different factories to pack and transport products. This increased the demand for basket and as a result their production increased. During the world wars basket were also used for transporting messenger pigeons and this resulted to their demand increasing even further. They were also used to drop supplies to troops during these wars.

The wide usage of baskets even led to establishment of business which only concentrated in weaving baskets. There were also professional weavers whose work was only to weave baskets. Weaving baskets became a career with more people training on how to weave baskets.

The history of weaving baskets shows that both men and women were good in weaving baskets. But women were the ones that used to weave baskets in the ancient times. But as time progresses, this craft became common to both men and women. Currently baskets are weaved using machines which makes the weaving more convenient. This also allows the final products to be of better quality. Furthermore, the use of modern techniques has also led to more durable baskets. The materials used to make baskets have also increased significantly. Therefore, the history of weaving baskets is rich and it goes back to the ancient times.

 

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Basket Weaving Traditions In Different Cultures Around The World

There are innumerable forms of art and craft and other skill based works which have traveled generations and have come to us. The kind of artwork would depend on the culture, history and civilization of the community of people. It would describe in some way the way of their lives and the place, climatic condition, the food habits, dressing habits and other such attributes. Culture and art is expressed in many forms and methods and weaving baskets without any doubt is one of the earliest and most popular forms of artistic expression. It also is a way of life for thousands of people, women in particular across the world. Many families depend on weaving of carpets as their main source of livelihood. However, as mentioned above, basket weaving cannot be put in a straight jacket and it is different for different people and communities. It has evolved over the years and therefore one cannot straight jacket this form of ancient art. It would be interesting to have at a few traditions which have survived over the years as far as basket weaving is concerned.

 

Raw Materials Used

 

There are number of raw materials that are used for basket weaving. It could range from roots of trees, twigs, grasses, reeds, twigs and even some types of raffia. Willows are also commonly used for weaving baskets. As technology evolved, new materials were discovered and today it is common to see baskets being woven using plastic as the base materials. Since nylon threads come in different shapes and colors it is possible to come out with some of the most stunning baskets woven intricately using various colors. There are others who also use steel wool and other such materials for weaving baskets.

 

The Style And Design

 

There are many factors which design the design and style of woven baskets. It would depend on the type of fiber or base material that is being used. Conversely, if a specific design is being planned, the fiber has to be chosen accordingly. Fibers which are used are in the form of flat and flexible materials. On the other hand round rods, twigs are usually not very flexible and weaving baskets out of them requires special skills.

 

The designs of various baskets have also evolved over time. There are many which are based on historic types and there are others which are made based on existing design. The end use of the basket also determines the shape, size and design. Hence as far as design and other related aspects are concerned, quite a few things must be taken into account and looked at from the right perspective.

 

Manufacturing Process

 

The manufacturing process of baskets also follows some set rules and regulations and the same have again evolved over time. Once a specific design has been finalized, the next job is to find suitable materials and the required tools are also made available. Then the process of assembling the baskets starts. Different processes are adopted which again would depend on the type of fiber and materials which are being used. In fine, there is no doubt that it is a fascinating piece of artwork which will continue to remain relevant even perhaps a few centuries from today.

 

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Introductory Video

In this video, an expert basket weaver shows us how to make terrific willow baskets. Stay tuned for different types of baskets, different techniques, the history of making baskets and its significance in cultures around the world, as well as much more. We’re excited to get started!