by Ruth Woods -
As someone who makes baskets as well as collects them, I know the time consumed in making them - so I want to share some friendly and easy-to-follow tips on how to take care of your baskets. It is far more difficult to repair a basket and usually once they have started to decay there's no going back. Remember, a little care goes a long way in extending their lifespan. Let's dive right in with these practical pointers:
Keep dry and away from moisture:
Moisture is a basket's enemy, so protect it from water and spills.
If you use your basket as a plant holder, be cautious of excess moisture at the base.
Avoid leaving baskets outside, even under a verandah, as they can absorb moisture from the air and develop mildew and shorten their life.
Bathrooms are not a good idea either, as they attract mildew. Keep them away from moisture-prone areas.
Even if you use your baskets as washing baskets and they get damp regularly make sure they dry in-between use. This way they will last longer.
Shield from direct sunlight:
Above you can see the difference the faded basket and where the materials have not been in touch with the daylight.
Sunlight may look beautiful, but it can be harsh on your baskets.
Direct sunlight can make the fibres brittle and fade the natural or dyed colours.
Find a spot away from a sunny windows and keep your baskets out of the direct light.
Start by gently brushing your baskets with a clean, soft brush to remove dust and debris.
For functional baskets, a damp cloth can work wonders. Give them a gentle rub to keep them looking fresh.
Most baskets can handle a gentle hand wash with a little dishwashing detergent, but remember to rinse them well.
After cleaning, allow the baskets to dry fully before using or storing them.
Dealing with uninvited visitors:
Occasionally, pesky insects like borers, moths, woodworms, and silverfish may try to take up residence in your baskets.
If you notice their presence pop your baskets into the freezer for 2-3 days to bid those cheeky critters farewell.
After freezing, ensure the baskets dry out thoroughly before using or storing them again.
on the right you can see the effects of insects working their way through this baskets
Remember, these tips apply to baskets made with natural materials. By following these simple steps, you can enjoy your baskets for years to come. Display them proudly, use them functionally, and give them the love and care they deserve. So take a moment to give your baskets a little TLC, and they will reward you with beauty and longevity. Happy basket caring!