SWALI: Extra Large Red, Purple & Beige Wool Basket
A striking floor basket with red, purple and beige, SWALI is hand woven by a highly skilled member of the Kamba tribe in Kenya using local sisal and yarns from second hand woolly jumpers. Each one of these Nifty Knit baskets is unique, so there’s only one SWALI in the world. These XL baskets make brilliant planters for your large houseplants and can also be used to store logs, throws and rugs, shoes and slippers, towels, laundry and playroom toys. The beauty of these woven baskets is that you’ll keep finding uses for them as the years go by.
These African baskets – also known as kiondos - take astonishing skill to produce, and up to six days to complete. The traditional weaving skills required to produce each basket are passed along the female line in Kenyan families, though the craft has seen a steep decline recently. In 2004 only four craftswomen in this weaving group had the experience to produce them, but today there are fifty active members reviving this vital craft thanks to a surge in demand from the interiors industry.
You become a supporter of this traditional craft when you bring home one of these striped storage baskets, and you support us in bringing flexible and sustainable work to the Kamba weavers, whose main incomes rely on farming, and therefore, decent rainfall. Each handwoven basket comes with a card bearing some information about the weavers, and you can read more about them HERE.
Material: SISAL & RECYCLED WOOL (NATURAL & SYNTHETIC)
Dimensions: 36cm Dia x 32cm 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.