Basket weaving has been practised for hundreds of years around the world. Many of the tools that are used to weave baskets today can be found already in your home or in basic craft stores. Materials for basket weaving can also be acquired from craft stores, online vendors and hardware stores.
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A flexible tape measurer made out of fibreglass, cloth or plastic is an essential tool in basket weaving. Baskets can be made in a variety of different shapes so it is necessary to have a tape measurer that is both flexible and long enough to accommodate any shape or sized basket that you will be making. The suggested length of a tape measurer being used for basket weaving is no more than 15 feet.
Reed cutters are clippers that are strong enough to cut through the strong fibres of reed. They produce a clean cut, which prevents fraying and tearing. Wire cutters are also acceptable to use instead of reed cutters. Both reed cutters and wire cutters can be found at craft and hardware stores.
Reed is the most common material used for basket weaving today. It is made up of the inner parts of an Asian vine called "calamus rotang." It is processed into either round reed or flat reed in factories. Flat reed is measured in widths separated by fractions of an inch. Round reed is instead measured by numbered sizes, with smaller numbers indicating a smaller diameter and larger numbers indicating a greater diameter. It is not recommended that round reed in a size of 10 or more be used for basket weaving. In order to use reed for basket weaving, it should be soaked in water for at least 15 minutes.
Cane is the second-most common material used for basket weaving and is made up of the outer bark of the same Asian vine "calamus rotang," that reed comes from. Cane is a tough and durable material, and like reed, should be soaked in water for at least 15 minutes before use. Soaking cane in water will result in the flexibility required to shape it without friction or breaking.
Clamps are frequently used in basket weaving to hold and secure the ends of weaving materials. This tool, while not necessary in order for basket weaving to be completed, is useful and can make the task of weaving easier. This tool can be found in most hardware stores. They are not as commonly found in craft stores.
Caning awls are used to clean old basket holes and during the last few steps of caning when holes become filled. The point of the awl should be sharp to avoid the possibility of breaking the cane with too much blunt force. The sharp point also provides for better maneuverability when working with large baskets.
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