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Using Vines and Creeper for Basket Weaving



There is something magical about vines.


They defy gravity, winding and twisting creating environmental sculptures, sometimes in the most peculiar places. Their stems can be thick, woody and textured or smooth with knotty nodes.


Vines are a perfect material for natural basket weaving projects. They can be used for most techniques and for both spokes and weavers, and excellent for random weave patterns and pieces. Finely curled tendrils, found with grapevine and ivy, add delicate character to beautifully crafted vine baskets and sculptural pieces. 🌿💗


As many gardeners will know, vines and creepers can become quite invasive when left to their own devices and not regularly pruned -- which makes it a fabulously resourceful and environmentally responsible material to transform into beautiful natural basketry or sculptural object from the cuttings.




Let's get to know our vines and creepers for using to create fantastic baskets and sculptures:










The Kudzu vine - Pueraria montana - native to Asia - is a hugely invasive plant and effecting many countries such as U.S., Japan and northern Australia.

It grows rapidly up to 30 metres long and can grow 30 cm a day! It can also be used for basketry; however the waste must be disposed of carefully as it will take root wherever it lands.



Some vines are considered invasive weeds like the Cat’s claw creeper - Dolichandra unguis cati which has damaged many parts of New South Wales and Queensland in Australia. Gardeners and Landcare groups are struggling to contain it. There are basket makers who will happily go and help strip the invasive vine from the native trees and take home fibre to use in their work. 💚


Some vines are poisonous and like the name suggests Poison Ivy can cause bad irritations and dermatitis - don’t use it.


The common ivy can be an irritant to some people so you might need to wear gloves.


Always do your research first to make sure that the vine you are picking is safe to use.



How do I find and prepare vines for basket making?


Generally vines will need pruning, so check out your neighbours garden and talk to the gardeners in the local parks; find out when they are pruning and ask if you can have the cuttings.



You can pick vines when green or dry. Try and select long runners as they are good to work with. Roll them up into approximately 30cm circular coiled bundles. If they are green let them dry out (they will shrink a lot). Rolling them into bundles creates a memory in the stem and makes it easier to manipulate with minimal cracking when working with the vine.


You will need to soak in water before use. How long you soak them will depend on the thickness of the vine. Fine vines can be wrapped in a wet towel, the thicker vines might need soaking for a few hours or over night in a tub or bath until they are flexible.


What vines can I use in basket making?


Below is a list of some of the vines which can be used in natural basket weaving to make stunning vine baskets - it is by no means an exhaustive list!


Common Ivy - Hedera helix

Grapevines - Vitis vinifera

Honeysuckle - Loniceera spp

Passionfruit - Passoflora edulis

Jasmine - Jasminum spp

Cat’s claw - Dolichandra unglues cats

Kiwi - Actinidia arguta

Coral Pea - Hardenbergia violacea

Virginia creeper - Parthenocissus quinquefolia

Boston Ivy - Parthenocissus tricuspidata

Muehlenbeckia - Lignum

Wisteria - Wisteria Spp

Wonga wonga vine - Pandorea pandorana

Clematis,

Kudzu - Pueraria montana




Find out more about making your own exquisite natural creations!


This blog post is based on information from our Baskets from the Garden and Sculptural Basketry online courses. We also have other creative workshops available online.


We would love to have you join our community of makers!




If you are interested in our book Finding Form with Fibre it can be purchased worldwide here:




If you are in Australia it can be purchased through our website here:





If you have any questions please contact create@craftschooloz.com



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1 Comment


Guest
Mar 26

I love the look of randomly woven baskets - the tendrils from vines look stunning too!

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