These unique baskets are made out of sisal which is grown either on farms belonging to the basket weavers, or else purchased from sisal estates. Sisal is an exceptionally durable and strong material, and grows well in harsh Kenyan climates.
About the baskets
These unique baskets are made out of sisal which is grown either on farms belonging to the basket weavers, or else purchased from sisal estates in coast province. The leaves of the sisal plant are used to obtain a fibre which is rolled to twine, and then be woven to a basket.
The Taita ladies from the Kasigau Weaver’s Group dye the fibres themselves and then roll the twine on their lap. Making baskets is a very labour intensive art. The baskets come in a number of different colours and patterns, with each design entirely made up by these artistic Taita ladies!
About the ladies
Weaving baskets is a tradition in Taita culture. Hadithi baskets are made by Basket Weaver Women’s Groups in the rural villages between Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks. Most groups meet every week to weave baskets together, and continue weaving in the at home, on the bus or even whilst walking to their neighbours. At the moment Hadithi is working with over 500 weavers in the area. We visit each group every two months and purchase the baskets on the spot. These meetings are also a great opportunity to chat with the groups and discover some of their needs. Every Hadithi basket comes with a photo of the lady who made it (although with the quick expansion we are going through we are missing photos in our database! its a work in progress).
HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR BASKET
Sisal is famous for being an extremely strong and hardy material; it is resilient even to salt water! However, care should be taken when exposing your basket to full sunlight, since this will cause the colours to fade. Whilst a splash of water will not harm these baskets, drying your basket out if it is made wet is highly recommended. Otherwise the basket will loose its shape. Sisal is a natural product, and if it remains damp for a long period it will go mouldy. If you use your basket as a plant pot, you need to line it with a water proof bag.
FROM SISAL TO BASKET
Take a closer look at some baskets below. These are examples to show the wonderful variety of baskets made by the Taita ladies; no two are the same!