CHENGA: Extra Small Blue and Turquoise Wool Basket
CHENGA is a beautiful, one-off handwoven basket boasting bands of blue and turquoise. Hand woven by women within a small weaving cooperative in rural Eastern Kenya, these colourful baskets are woven using traditional methods and geometric designs. These small storage baskets make fabulous planters as well as fun storage for nursery toys, TV remotes and tech, coffee pods, toiletries, sewing kit, pens and pencils – their uses are endless!
These African woven baskets are known traditionally as Kiondos (kee-yon/-doh) and were woven by mothers as wedding gifts for their daughters. Not long ago Kiondo weaving was a dying art in Kenya, though today it is seeing a renaissance thanks to the handful of small weaving groups still practising this age-old craft.
No two baskets from this collection are the same. The weavers source their yarns by travelling to local ‘gikombas’ (second-hand clothes markets) to purchase colourful woollen jumpers. These are then washed and unravelled into separate balls of wool. The women who weave these small baskets have an exceptional eye for colour and pattern, producing each basket to their own design and choice of colours. Baskets take up to four days to complete, and weaving is often done around farm work, household chores, social engagements and childcare.
To purchase one of our wool and sisal baskets is to support the revival of kiondo weaving, and in doing so you help us to support the weavers in the provision of a sustainable income. Basket weaving has become a sustainable source of additional income for the weavers, whose main earnings come from farming – a line of work increasingly vulnerable to drought. Each colourful basket comes with some information about the weaving cooperative that produced it, and you can meet these weavers HERE.
Material: SISAL & RECYCLED WOOL (NATURAL & SYNTHETIC)
Dimensions: 25- 28cm HEIGHT
Please note, as this is a handmade product, dimensions & colour may vary from those shown in the photographs.
HANDMADE IN KENYA
The weavers are our life force - the sheer spirit of THE BASKET ROOM and the raw talent behind every fair trade basket we sell. Every woven basket has been worked on exclusively by one weaver, and each basket is their very own work of art before it becomes yours. Woven meticulously over a number of days, your basket has accompanied its creator on their daily errands from home to field to farm, enabling the weavers to earn a precious second income without having to give up their other jobs and responsibilities.
We’ve searched far and wide to partner up with the most remarkable artisans and networks of weaving cooperatives in Africa. We’re proud and privileged to regularly spend time with them all - getting to know the people, the raw materials and the harvesting, dyeing and weaving processes, first-hand.
The weavers take centre stage. These are their stories. Listen and share.
Where Are The Baskets Made?