SHANGWE: Medium Brown Sisal Basket
The SHANGWE is a earthy collaboration of 100% natural dyes: brown, black and natural stripes combine in a most striking, geometric effect. This striped basket is truly unique, hand woven in Kenya’s rural Coastal Region by a skilled craftswoman working with her preferred weave patterns and choice of natural dyes. Like what you see? Snap yours up now, because this is a rare, one-off woven basket.
The making process is laborious and highly skilled. Sisal grass is hand stripped using wooden tools and bare feet, and then it is hand rolled to a very fine twine on the thighs before being woven using a classic twining technique. The dyes used to create the stunning layers of colour in SHANGWE are 100% natural, and hand-dyed in large vats of boiling water.
This unique woven basket will bring a splash of natural Kenyan colour to any corner of the home. Pop your SHANGWE in the larder for storing fruit or veg, or use it in the bathroom for tidying away loo rolls or toiletries. Fill yours with toys, blankets and books in the playroom, or use yours as a tidy for jewellery, scarves and trinkets. For more basket inspiration, see our uses page HERE.
The Basket Room is proud to partner with a Community Based Organisation which works on behalf of several women’s weaving cooperatives in Kenya, ensuring pay and decent working conditions. Profits from sales and all donations to the CBO are used to offer further support to these women’s groups. For these women’s groups, basket weaving is a portable, income-generating craft, and it takes place primarily during the dry seasons where crop production dwindles. Each basket comes with a thank you card from the cooperative who made yours – and you can meet the weavers HERE.
Dimensions: 24cm Dia x 22cm H
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.