The Art of Handwoven Basket Making
The ancient craft of basket making is a mastered craft that takes patience and skill. The art of making these beautiful products is passed down from generation to generation. We were fortunate enough to connect with Mr Naushad Ali in India, learn about his art and purchase baskets to bring to your homes. The below will give you a brief understanding of the process.
After in rains in winter, Moonj Grass that grows by the riverside in Uttar Pradesh, is cut, gathered and sorted into thin pieces.
2 DRYING AND SOAKING
Moonj is the outer-layer of the grass and is dried under the sunlight for 2 to 3 days.
After the grass is dried the natural golden colour is somewhat lighter and ready to be coloured if desired. Boiled water is put in a container to which raw colour is added and the grass is dyed in the mixture. The coloured grass is then dried in the shade and sorted, ready for use.
The dried grass is then converted into small knots which are locally known as ‘balla’. To ensure flexibility in coiling the ‘balla’ is soaked in cold water for some time after.
A technique called coiling is used to make the baskets. First starting with the base and then the sides. This technique is completely different from any other form of basket making in other parts of India, giving it such a unique attribute.