SIMAMA: Handwoven Blue, Maroon and Peach Wool Tote Bag
Introducing SIMAMA: a one-off woollen basket bag hand woven by the Kamba tribe in Kenya. Bolts of bright blue, maroon and peach pop against a natural base, creating a distinctly tribal effect.
This exquisite basket bag is modelled on the Kenyan kiondo (kee-yon/-doh) – a type of storage basket traditionally woven in rural Kenyan communities by mothers as wedding gifts for their daughters. Kiondo weaving was becoming a rare craft in Kenya until very recently: in 2004 only four elders from this cooperative had the experience to make them. Today there are around fifty active members reviving this stunning craft, which is typically passed down the female bloodline.
The wool used to create these elaborate designs is sourced from upcycled woolly jumpers purchased at second hand clothes markets, and each bag takes up to six days to complete. The basket bags are then sent to a leading local leather works to be finished, being fitted with cow hide shoulder straps.
To take home one our Nifty Knit Basket Bags is to become an important part of our journey: a tale that weaves together generations of craftsmanship. We are proud to support the weavers, providing a sustainable source of income for farming communities whose primary income can be unreliable. Each woven basket is supplied with a thank you card from the weaving cooperative, and you can meet the weavers HERE.
Material: SISAL & RECYCLED WOOL (NATURAL & SYNTHETIC) LEATHER STRAPS
Dimensions: 40cmW X 30cmH approx (width is measured at the widest part of the bag)
Strap Length: 29cm approx
Leather used is a by-product of the food industry.
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?
Used to buy these totes in the 70s and 80s. Only they were made with sisal rather than yarn, much like your baskets, only with leather straps. Very durable and had several. Any chance of making those again???
The Basket Room
Hello, The bag is made with a mix of sisal and yarn, but we do have some sisal only alternatives on our website! All the best Katie