Experts have debated the classifications and terminology of basketry construction for ages. However, most basketry is created with elaboration and variations of four basic basket construction methods.
A bundle of strands or rods is stitched into a spiraling oval or round form with a thin, flexible element to create coiled baskets.
Numerous variations of stitch types and embellishments such as imbrication can afford a wide range of possibilities.
Core materials can include pine needles, straw, willow, yucca, palmetto, sweetgrass and other grasses. Stitching elements can be such things as raffia, horsehair, ash woodsplint, devil's claw, palmetto, skeined willow, for example.
Two or more flexible elements are used to encircle another base element. When two weavers are used, this technique is called pairing. When three or more elements are twisted it is called waling.
Variations can be achieved by twining rows tightly row upon row or leaving an open warp, crossing the warp, wrapping the warp, twining plain or on the diagonal, among others.
Woven baskets have two sets of elements - rigid stakes or spokes which create a warp and more pliable elements which are woven in and out to form a weft. Materials in woven basketry can be flat or round and can be any of a wide variety of materials such as willow, woodsplint, paper and reed.
Splint materials are flat weavers that have been split or pounded from the log of a native hardwood such as White Oak, Maple or Ash. Splint and other flat materials such as rivercane, yucca, birch bark, paper and flat reed are used in plaiting.
From these basic construction methods with a myriad of variations, materials and embellishments many of the baskets we know are created.
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