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Behind the Design: Basket Weaving

Behind the Design: Basket Weaving

Practicing a time-honored weaving technique, artisans use a needle and thread to wrap hand-dyed strands of sisal around bunches of sweetgrass- all of which is grown and sourced locally from Rwanda.

The result? Tightly coiled, durable baskets in an impressive range of patterns and colors.

“Basket weaving has been an art in Rwanda for as long as I can remember. I am very proud to be part of that tradition.” – Alphonsine, 40, Ibanga Cooperative

For a traditional plateau basket, the bottom coil can take an artisan anywhere from 15 minutes to a full hour to weave. Depending on the size and shape, each completed basket can take one weaver 3-5 days to make! 

“Weaving together as a group inspires you to work hard and stay committed to the craft! I love advising other women and helping them make beautiful baskets.” – Claudine, 38, Imirasire Cooperative

One of the most challenging aspects of the weaving process for our artisan partners is getting the colors of the dye just right. A lot of time and material can be spent experimenting with colors and mixing dyes to produce the correct tint. Once the right color is made, the women hand-dye strands of sisal and let them dry in the sun to create the signature bright colors of Indego Africa baskets.