The Making of a Basket
La Basketry’s baskets are handwoven outside of Thies, which is the third largest city of Senegal and the city where our parents were born and raised. This is also the place Mamy and I spent all our summers until we became teenagers and wanted to discover other parts of the world.
We liaise directly with the 12 artisans we work with - we met most of them a couple of years ago at a market stall when we were trying to buy some baskets for our own flats, one thing led to another and we ended up at the village where they’re all handmade and we were absolutely blown away by all the patterns, colours, shapes and sizes.
The group is headed by our ’head weaver’ Khady - check her out stylishly dressed in orange - we speak to her at least once a week.
We already loved some of their designs but they needed to be adapted, the colours needed to be updated and they also needed to be less 'busy' to suit more contemporary houses.
The weaving technique they use is called ‘coiling’.
“Coiling begins at the center of a basket and grows upon itself in spiral rounds, each attached to the round before.
Weaving coiled baskets is a sewing technique, as the basket-maker uses an awl to punch holes in the foundation through which she draws sewing strands. These strands are single pieces of plant fiber" in our case a local grass called ’ndiorokh'.
“In coiling, designs are not made by changing the weave, but rather by using a different color sewing thread” so the artisans add long strips of recycled plastics.