Esparto Wicker Baskets in Spain
Country of the crafting: Spain
Region of the crafting: Andalucia
Type of the crafting: Vegetable fibres
1. Data sheet
Traditional basketry craftsmen select the branches and stems, either using all their thickness or cutting them length wise, to achieve homogeneous thicknesses, ideal for weaving baskets. The wicker is very easy to work, foldable, so it is the ideal material to make furniture, baskets and baskets, wicker baskets, decorative fabrics… The variety is infinite, the wicker basketry has been worked in a different way. Being a durable, breathable and washable material, robust and light weight. Inaddition, there are different types and colors of wicker has also been used for decorative elements.
2. Craft characteristics
The wicker branches are cut and classified according to sizes. Formerly they were cut with scissors, knees, and one by one. Once cut and classified, it is boiled so that the skin softens for about six hours and then passed through a machine that peels the leaves of the stem. Then it is cleaned and dried in the sun for at least 5 days, to obtain that characteristic color. It is transplanted by cuttings planted directly in the soil until it takes root. Planted at a distance of about 20cm from each other. The technique wicker is usually used mixed with water and some scissors to be able to cut and handle the wicker.
3. Used materials
Basketry is one of the oldest crafts. It began in human prehistory and although it has undergone many changes. Based maunly on the availability of materials, the basic approach and its purposes have remained essentially the same.
It is difficult to know when the tradition of creating baskets began, because the materials used in the basketry do not last as long. The archaeologists were convinced that the firts villages already made baskets thousands of years ago. The baskets have been preserved thanks to the dry air of the ancient pyramids of egypt, so it has at last a 4000 years of history.
As soon as the firts travelers emerged and began to negotiate their goods, they also sold baskets that were used to transport the goods. The baskets were the ideal containers during the centuries before plastic. Not only were the baskets physically traded, but the techniques to create them were also negotiated and many different tribes and cultures adapted the basketry methods to their own needs and according to local materials.