Basket weaving (also basketry or basket making) is the process of weaving or sewing pliable materials into two- or threedimensional artefacts, such as mats or containers. Craftspeople and artists specialised in making baskets are usually referred to as basket makers and basket weavers.
Basketry is made from a variety of fibrous or pliable materials—anything that will bend and form a shape. Examples include pine straw, stems, animal hair, hide, grasses, thread, and fine wooden splints.
Indigenous peoples are particularly renowned for their basket-weaving techniques. These baskets may then be traded for goods but may also be used for religious ceremonies.
Classified into four types, according to Catherine Erdly:
- “Coiled” basketry using grasses and rushes
- “Plaiting” basketry using materials that are wide and braidlike: palms, yucca or New Zealand flax
- “Twining” basketry using materials from roots and tree bark. Twining actually refers to a weaving technique where two or more flexible weaving elements (“weavers”) cross each other as they weave through the stiffer radial spokes.
- “Wicker” and “Splint” basketry using reed, cane, willow, oak, and ash