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 a wide variety of sizes, types, and colors of reed as well as handles, seagrass, and other basket weaving materials.
Seagrass and other accents
Seagrass comes in a variety of sizes based on its diameter. Typically sold by number, (ie. #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 the overall hue or color of a basket. There are a variety of shades available depending on your preference. Here are a few of my favorites.
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.)
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 just sit on the surface of the reed.
Watco Danish Oil on Amazon (comes in a variety of different wood tones: natural, black walnut, light walnut, cherry, red mahogany, etc.)
It is possible to use wood stains and I often do especially for baskets that will be getting a lot of wear and tear because they are heavier duty. These do make the reed a bit stiff and crunchy as the stain causes the reed to stick together where it overlaps. It is a personal choice whether you use wood stains on rattan basket reed.
If you do go for a wood stain here are a few things to consider. Stains come in different finishes. I suggest using satin as it is still fairly matte while giving a slight sheen. Stains that are glossy tend to make the reed look tacky in my opinion.
Go for the water-based option if you can. This is way easier to clean up than oil-based stain. It also won’t leave your basket smelling strongly of chemicals like an oil-based stain will. If you do use oil-based stain allow your basket to dry in a well-ventilated area for a few days in order for the smell to wear off and the stain to fully dry.
Varathane water-based stains on Amazon
Varathane oil-based stains on Amazon
Basket weaving books
There are many basket weaving books you can find about basket weaving techniques, even specifically for rattan basket weaving. I have included several of my favorites that I use as references and inspiration for my basket weaving.