In Rwanda, hand-woven baskets are traditionally given to commemorate significant life events such as weddings, births, and graduations as they are the result of hard work and love, sometimes taking many hours to complete each basket. Natural plant fibres are carefully stripped, dyed with natural dyes and dried before being woven into intricate patterns that are so distinctly Rwandan. Our baskets have been designed by us and so are exclusive to Artisans & Adventurers. We took inspiration from traditional Rwandan designs, giving them a more graphic, modern twist.
The process of basket weaving begins with the weavers preparing the sisal reeds that are used to form the base of the baskets. Sisal is an abundant plant, native to Rwanda, that can be harvested again and again without the need to destroy the entire plant, making it incredibly sustainable. The weavers then take the dyed and dried fibres and use it as a yarn. This yarn is threaded onto needles and wrapped around the dried sisal base to create colourful baskets. The weaving process itself is very social, with women gathering together in groups to talk and work at the same time. The traditional craft is also handed down from generation to generation and holds a great cultural significance.
These rural weaving communities are incredibly conscious of sustainability and the need to conserve our natural resources. All of the artisans ensure that baskets are made with eco-friendly materials which don’t harm the natural and environmental resources, the same raw materials needed for weaving their baskets. Natural dyes come from pounded roots, bark, and vegetables of the region. The weavers we work with are all part of a community-based cooperative in Southern Rwanda, working to socially improve their livelihoods and keep the art of weaving alive. Through the sharing of skills, artisans are trained in art and crafts, public health & basic sales or communications techniques to meet the demands of the markets today. The group aims to "foster, develop and promote our handmade craft products while ensuring we use eco-friendly materials that can guarantee both sustainable markets and care for the environment."
Shop our Rwandan Baskets here, and Rwandan Light Shades here.