Saturday, August 29, 2009

Basket weaving

I have long admired rush matting for its simple and natural look but, until last weekend had given little thought to its making and I was very suprised to find rush being woven on a loom with a warp ( or is it weft) of hemp string. I was lucky enough to be able to chat at length to the curator and guide to an exhibition of basket making- all fascinating, There is a long long tradition of basket weaving in Hungary and it is thought that the craft was bought to Hungary by the Mongols many years ago. Rush , reed and willow are the most common materials for bakset making in Hungary. The rush matting shown above was traditionally used on mud floors in peasant houses or as wall hangings, placed on the wall alongside the bed . The bags like those shown above are woven on a loom and then beautifully seamed.