We Value Your Privacy

We and our partners use technology such as cookies on our site to personalise content and ads, provide social media features, and analyse our traffic. Click below to consent to the use of this technology across the web. You can change your mind and change your consent choices at anytime by returning to this site.

Update Consent
Loading ...

How to Treat Fresh Reeds for Basket Weaving

Updated April 17, 2017

Prepared and packaged reeds are available in craft stores and from basketry supply retailers for those who want to weave their own baskets. However, some weavers prefer to use freshly-harvested reeds or other natural materials for their baskets. Follow two main steps to prepare your own reeds for making baskets. First, thoroughly dry out the fresh-cut reeds. Second, rehydrate them in warm water a few at a time to make them pliable for weaving.

Loading ...
  1. Gather eight to 10 freshly-cut reeds into a bunch and tie them together at the top with the twine. Hang the reed bunches from hooks, rafters, hangers or clothesline in a dark, dry, well-ventilated indoor location.

  2. Allow reed bunches to dry completely, three to seven days, depending on the local humidity. Keep reeds from direct light to avoid discolouration.

  3. Cut dried reeds to the desired size for your basket-weaving project. Fill the basin with warm (not hot) water. Place one or two reeds at a time into the water; soak for five to 10 minutes until the reeds are pliable but not soggy. Remove the reed(s) from the water and pat dry with paper towels.

  4. Use the pliable reeds to begin weaving the basket. Soak additional reeds, one or two at a time, as needed to continue weaving. Do not soak more than a couple of the cut reeds at a time, or they may dry out before you can begin weaving with them. Periodically replace the water in the basin to maintain its warmth.

Loading ...

Things You'll Need

  • Freshly-harvested reeds
  • Heavy twine or string
  • Hangers or clothesline
  • Scissors
  • Large shallow basin or bowl
  • Warm water
  • Paper towels

About the Author

As a national security analyst for the U.S. government, Molly Thompson wrote extensively for classified USG publications. Thompson established and runs a strategic analysis company, is a professional genealogist and participates in numerous community organizations.Thompson holds degrees from Wellesley and Georgetown in psychology, political science and international relations.

Loading ...