MAKALI: Pink & Yellow Woven Sisal Floor Runner
This playful floor runner features a broad neon pink and bright yellow stripe design against a natural sisal base, bringing a burst of Kenyan style to the nursery or playroom, hallway or sitting room.
We are delighted to partner with a weaver named Bernard in bringing these mats and runners to The Basket Room. Bernard makes each one of these sisal mats himself in his workshop in rural Kenya, having learned to weave on a hand-loom through a UN-funded project over twenty years ago.
This type of weaving is physically and technically very demanding and the larger mats in this collection can each take up to four days to complete. Because of this, weavers like Bernard are a rarity. His beautiful mats and runners are works of an extremely rare and precious craft.
Bernard weaves each mat and runner from Kenyan sisal, a fibrous grass typically used for producing rope and twine. Its leaves are split, rolled and dyed by hand before Bernard meticulously works the fibres through the loom to create a fine, flat weave.
Like the majority of the weavers we partner with in Kenya and across Africa, farming lies at the heart of Bernard’s family income. During the dry seasons when crops fail and livestock suffers, Bernard’s skilled mat weaving gives him the opportunity to earn a fair wage through flexible work.
Meet Bernard in our film, The Last Loom Weaver
Dimensions: L:240cm x W:66cm approx
It is advised to use a non-slip underlay if positioning the runner on a slippery surface (laminated or stripped floorboards and tiles).
Please note, as this is a handmade product, dimensions & colour may vary from those shown in the photographs.
FAIR TRADE AND HANDMADE IN KENYA
Our journey into sustainable style began in Kenya, and the lion’s share of our woven baskets are Kenyan-made. Whilst every region of Kenya boasts its own rich natural bounty, each cooperative we partner with offers expertise in its own unique form of basketry. Weaving, dyeing and grass-rolling techniques differ across the regions as much as basket shapes, patterns and structures. These precious crafts are woven through the generations within families - passed along continuous thread from mother to daughter - protecting and preserving an art form as old as man.
Vast and colourful, vibrant and bursting with natural beauty and style, our fair trade baskets are as eclectic as their homeland and its people. From sisal grass to doum palm, banana leaf fibres to palm leaf, each weaving cooperative works with what is locally available and only what can be sustainably sourced, to produce beautiful baskets which are 100% Kenyan made, and ethically produced. All cow hide bag tags, straps, and basket labels are made from leather sourced as a by-product of the food industry. Natural dyes come from pounded roots, bark and vegetables of the region, whilst all synthetic dyes are sustainably sourced.
From the Kamba tribe to the camel-herding Ariaal pastoralists of Northern Kenya, you can read more about the lives of the Kenyan weavers we work with - and the wonderful baskets they produce - below.