We have recently sourced beautiful hand-woven baskets, trivet, coasters and more. Here is a brief over view of the process.
A high -quality basket begins with locally sourced materials and resources that are accessible to weavers. With leaves that can grow several feet long, sisal is a perfect source of the long, strong fibers needed to weave a basket. Found high in the mountains or low in the swampy areas, the plant is scattered throughout the regions across Rwanda. The sisal threads are then washed repeatedly until they lose their natural tint and fade to a silky white.
The white Sisal now act as a blank canvas for another important step before the weaving begins – the dyeing process. Often, groups of weavers gather together, turning their fiber dyeing into a collaborative event.
Dyes are added to boiling water brewing in large metal pots. The artisans stir and wait, ensuring fibers are perfectly infused with the dye. When the shade is just right, the brilliantly colored fibers are hung like laundry to dry, and the construction process can finally begin.
The process of weaving is intricate. Sisal fibers are wound around thin bundles of sweet grass, and secured stitch by stitch into a tiny coil. The col grows as the process continues, and the weaver incorporates differently colored sisal threads into careful patterns or designs.
The completed basket… is a labor of love, a testament to skill and a piece of art.