UTULIVU: Natural Woven Storage Basket
These natural woven baskets boast a stippled pattern of sand and natural grass hues, and are hand woven from sisal in Kenya. Produced by a skilled weaving cooperative member, the UTULIVU range of baskets come in three handy sizes which means there’s one for every use: from desk tidies and flower pots to kindling baskets, large planters and vegetable baskets. Wherever you pop your woven storage basket, it’s sure to add a little extra style to the home. Need more inspiration? Check out our basket uses page HERE.
The craftswomen behind our UTULIVU baskets have learned the meticulous art weaving from their mothers and grandmothers, and work within a thriving cooperative which is growing in numbers continually under the guidance of its inspirational Chairlady, Madam Dorcas. Sisal grass is usually purchased in ready-rolled batches when the cooperative receives its orders from The Basket Room, and this grass is then hand-dyed in large vats before weaving begins, using a traditional twining method. Where once these weavers would travel regularly to Nairobi to sell their woven baskets, The Basket Room keeps them busy with regular and fairly-paid basket orders, enabling these subsistence farmers to earn a flexible supplementary income in the dry seasons.
Each colourful woven basket comes with a thank you card from the weaving cooperative, and you can meet these weavers right HERE. To buy one of our woven baskets is to actively support the weavers’ livelihoods, and our commitment to empowering women.
Material: SISAL & BRANDED LEATHER TAB
M: 20-23cm DIA x 20-23cm H
L: 30-33cm DIA x 30-33cm H
If you need a specific size please let us know prior to placing your order.
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.