A twining method is used to create these African baskets: two woollen elements are skilfully bound around a central pole of local sisal grass. Once orders come in, weavers travel to local ‘gikombas’ (second hand clothes markets) to purchase colourful woollen jumpers which are then taken home, washed and unravelled into separate balls of wool. The weavers of these cooperatives are especially creative and experienced, so they enjoy free choice of colours and designs, weaving each basket to their own preferred style and colourways. Baskets take up to four days to weave, and weaving is often done around farm work, household chores, social engagements and childcare. No two baskets are the same since each is made to a unique design.
To purchase one of our woollen baskets is to support the revival of kiondo weaving, and in doing so you help us to support the weavers in a truly fair trade. Basket weaving has become a sustainable source of additional income for the weavers, whose main earnings come from farming – a line of work increasingly vulnerable to drought. Each ethical basket is supplied with a little information about the weaving cooperative.