Basic Basket Weaving Tools
Rattan basket reed
I carry basket reed, seagrass, some handles, and basket weaving tools in my Etsy shop, Textile Indie Supplies.
I typically order my basket reed online. One of the best places I have found is Basket Makers Catalog. They have various sizes, types, and colors of reed, handles, seagrass, and other materials.
Seagrass and other accents
Seagrass comes in a variety of sizes. Typically sold by number (i.e., #1, #2, etc.), these numbers are associated with a diameter size in millimeters.
Seagrass from Basket Makers Catalog
Basket weaving handles, hoops and frames
- “D” and sharp-top “D” handles
- Specialty “D” handles
- Swing “D” handles
- Notched handles for bushel-style baskets
- Side notched handles
- Williamsburg handles
- Round hoops
- Rims and hoops
- Wire or metal handles
- Basket feet
- “U” handles
Basket reed dyes
Basket reed can be home-dyed using fiber reactive dyes or other plant fiber dyes. Here I have included several options and their sources.
Basket stains, sealers, and other finishes
A stain is a product that changes a basket’s overall hue or color. There are a variety of shades available, depending on your preference.
Pro Tip: Before using a stain, do a test sample on a piece of reed and allow it to dry to see the actual color and finish (matte, satin, etc.)
Here are a few of my favorites:
Weavers Stain is one of the best stains for baskets as it applies easily and sits on the reed without making it stiff or crunchy like some other finishes.
Find Weavers Stain at Basket Makers Catalog here.
Watco Danish Oil
Danish Oil is an oil-based wood finish that penetrates or soaks into wood surfaces. This is a good option for basket reed as it does more than sit on the surface of the reed.
Watco Danish Oil on Amazon (comes in various wood tones: natural, black walnut, light walnut, cherry, red mahogany, etc.)
Whether you use wood stains on rattan basket reed is a personal choice. It is possible to use wood stains, and I often do, especially for baskets that will get a lot of wear and tear because they are heavier duty. Wood stain will make the reed a bit stiff and crunchy as the stain causes the reed to stick together where it overlaps.
Stains come in different finishes. I suggest using a satin finish. Glossy stains tend to make the reed look tacky, in my opinion.
Here are a few things to consider if you go for a wood stain:
- Go for the water-based option for easier clean-up.
- Oil-based stains smell like chemicals.
- If you use an oil-based stain, allow your basket to dry in a well-ventilated area for a few days.
Varathane water-based stains on Amazon
Varathane oil-based stains on Amazon
Basket weaving books
You can find many books about basket weaving techniques, even specifically for rattan basket weaving. I have included several of my favorites for reference and inspiration.