CHEMI: Large Black and White Sisal Basket
The CHEMI is a earthy collaboration of 100% natural dyes: black, white, and brown stripes combine in a most striking, textured effect. This unique basket was produced by a talented craftswoman in Kenya’s rural Coastal Region, working to her own basket weave pattern and her personal colour choices. There is only one of these woven baskets: once it’s gone, it’s gone.
This unique woven basket will bring a natural splash of Kenyan style to any corner of the home. Use CHEMI in the larder for storing fruit or veg, or pop yours in the bathroom for tidying away loo rolls or toiletries. Use yours on your dressing table jewellery, scarves and trinkets, or by the wood burner for keeping old newspapers and kindling. The possibilities are endless, but for more basket inspiration, see our uses page HERE.
The process involved in producing these unique baskets is meticulous 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 dynamic colourways in CHEMI are all 100% natural, and dyed by hand.
The Basket Room is proud to work with a Community Based Organisation representing several women’s weaving cooperatives in Kenya. These most artistic collectives enjoy the flexible working conditions offered by basket weaving, and the rates of pay guaranteed by working within a cooperative. By purchasing one of these baskets you play your own part in empowering women to financially support themselves and their families through the dry seasons.
Dimensions: 29cm DIA x 25cm 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.