Learn the The A-Z of the Ancient Craft that brings The Ultimate Enjoyment for All Ages!
Fully-Illustrated Ebook That Will Show You How To Create Beautiful Baskets From Rush, Raffia and Rattan - A 32,156-Word Course On Basket-Making (Includes 44 Projects)!
THE twisting and weaving of Nature's materials, grasses, twigs, rushes and vines, into useful and beautiful forms seems almost instinctive in man. Perhaps it came to him as the nest-weaving instinct comes to birds—for at first he used it as they do, in the building of his house. Later, shields and boats were formed of wicker work, but how long ago the first basket was made no one is wise enough to tell us. To-day Indian tribes in South America weave baskets from their native palms, South African negroes use reeds and roots, while the Chinese and Japanese are wonderful workmen in this as in other arts and industries; but basketry has come down to us more directly through the American Indian. Generations of these weavers have produced masterpieces, many of which are preserved in our museums, and the young basket maker need not go on long pilgrimages to study the old masters of his craft. Here at last, as in England, the value of manual training is being realized, and basketry is taking an important place; following the kindergarten and enabling the child to apply the principles he has learned there. He still works from the centre out, and weaves as he wove his paper mats, but permanent materials have replaced the perishable ones, and what he makes has an actual value.
Basketry also fills the need for a practical home industry for children; so not only in school, club and settlement, but on home piazzas in summer young weavers are taking their first lessons. Though they are unlearned in woodcraft, and have not the magic of the Indian squaw in their fingertips, they can, and do, feel the fascination of basketry in the use of rattan, rush and raffia. It is hoped that this book may be a help in teaching them "Basket Making for Fun & Profits."
Preface ................................................... v
Materials, Tools, Preparation, Weaving…… 3
Raffia and Some op Its Uses ……………… . .11
Mats and Their Borders……………………… .21
The Simplest Baskets ……………….. .... 27
Covers . 33
Work Baskets 65
Candy Baskets 83
Scrap Baskets 101
Birds' Nests 113
Oval Baskets ……………………….... ...... 127
The Finishing Touch 149
How to Cane Chairs………... . . .159
Some Indian Stitches 169
What the Basket Means to the Indian……… . 181
HOW TO MAKE BASKETS
MATERIALS, TOOLS, PREPARATION, WEAVING
Materials.—We shall use a great deal of rattan in making these baskets. It is a kind of palm which grows in the forests of India, twining about the trees and hanging in graceful festoons from the branches, sometimes to the length of five hundred feet, it is said, though seldom over an inch in diameter. It comes to us stripped of leaves and bark, and split into round or flat strips of various sizes, which are numbered by the manufacturer from 1 up to about 15, No. 1 being the finest as well as the most costly. Rattan can be bought (usually in five-pound lots) at basket factories in our large cities. Numbers 2, 3 and 4 are the best sizes for small baskets and 3, 5, and 6 for scrap baskets. Raffia, which is woven into small baskets, dolls' hats, etc., comes from Madagascar. It is a pale yellow material, soft and pliable, the outer cuticle of a palm, and can be bought at seed stores in
hanks of about a pound each. Either braided and used by itself or woven flat on rattan spokes, it is easily handled by very young children, whose fingers are not strong enough to manage rattan.
The flat or braided rush which is imported by wholesale basket dealers comes in natural colors, dull green and soft wood-brown. The flat rush is sold by the pound, and the braided in bunches of ten metres each. Woven on rattan spokes, it makes beautiful baskets. Braided rush is a good material for scrap baskets, while the flat, being
FIG. I.—TWIST OF RATTAN
finer, is successfully woven into candy, flower and work baskets. The leaves of our own cat-tail furnish a material almost as pliable and quite as attractive in color as ...