Basket Weaving at Thornbury Neighbourhood House.
Stitched Basket Workshop Materials List
Most materials used need to be dried and soaked in water to become flexible. Using materials when green will result in your basket shrinking and becoming loose.
Cordyline or Cabbage Tree
Cordyline is a hardy native of New Zealand and is one of the strongest basketry materials known. When making a stitched basket it is important to have some strength and Cordyline is invaluable. Luckily for us it was planted in many gardens in the 70’s. It is very tough and fibrous and needs to be soaked in water to soften. Gardeners will be happy for you to collect it as it can be messy and gets caught in lawn mowers. I will have some for those who can’t find any but we will need quite a bit so please try to find some. To prepare for weaving Cordyline needs to be soaked in water for at least an hour and then made into fine strips using a sewing needle.
Softer Leaves for Colour and Texture
Other materials that can be incorporated into your basket include, Daffodil leaves, Daylily, New Zealand Flax, Iris leaves, Jacaranda stalks, Pine needles, Red Hot Poker (one of the most beautiful), Sweet Corn husks, Watsonia, Kangaroo Paw, Rushes, Aunt Eliza/ Chasmanthe floribunda, Dracena dragon tree, Gladiolous, Jasmine, Banana and the list could go on! Most of these materials need to be dried and then soaked in water for about 10 minutes. Keep them moist by wrapping them in a towel.
In Stitched basketry each stitch needs to be pulled tight. Waxed linen or artificial sinew is much loved by basket weavers as it is strong and beautiful to use as the waxing helps to make your stitches stay in place. I will have some for sale at the Basket Weavers of Victoria member’s price $13.00 and $15.00 per reel. This is likely to be the most expensive item you will ever need to buy in making a stitched basket. You can also use wool for a brightly stitched basket this goes very well with raffia. Raffia can also be used and can be dyed in bright colours. I will have plenty of that available on the day. If you would like a brightly coloured basket you can also collect scraps of wool for stitching.
Your hands are the most important tools but you will also need a tapestry needle with a big eye. If possible bring a packet of assorted darning needles. These can be purchased from Spotlight, Lincraft or other craft stores. A spray bottle is also handy to keep materials moist.
I look forward to meeting you all at the workshop. If you have any enquiries about materials please contact me on 0407887099 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org