MOSI: Lavender & Yellow Woven Placemat
Bring ethical style and a splash of Kenyan colour to the table with our MOSI handwoven sisal placemats and coasters: lavender with a soft yellow rim. Perfect for lunches and brunches, al fresco suppers and family gatherings, these round placemats are just too lovely to be kept for best. Mix and match colours or opt for matching sets: there are so many beautiful combinations to be found in this very special collection, new for 2023.
The craftswomen behind these round place mats all learned to weave from their mothers and grandmothers, and practise this traditional craft within a small weaving group in rural Kenya. We visit these women as often as we can, and have built a strong bond with the weavers and their chairlady, Madam Dorcas over the years. Where once these weavers would undertake the long journey to Nairobi to sell their work at markets, The Basket Room now places regular orders with them, enabling these women to work sustainably from home.
Much of basket production takes place during Kenya’s dry seasons, since most of these weavers are from farming communities who rely on farming (and rainfall) to feed, support and clothe their families. When farming slows down, weaving work picks up the slack. To buy one of our woven placemats is to support us empowering African craftswomen and protecting this age-old craft.
Dimensions (approx): 32cm Dia
Please note, as this is a handmade product, dimensions & colour may vary from those shown in the photographs.
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.