Basket Borders

6 lessons, 4 hours

Learning to manage the border part on your own is something that many people struggle with, sometimes for many years. Having seen this time and again, even with long-time basket makers, I've developed an approach of teaching the principles instead of just teaching specific types of borders. Learn to understand, once and for all, the beginning, the middle and the finishing part.

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Rod borders are probably the most commonly used type of border. They're very efficient due to their strength, simplicity and quick making time. It is a rudimentary subject in the craft of basket weaving, that must be understood from start to finish, and practiced to the point of becoming a second nature. I demonstrate with center cane because it can be easily untangled and used over and over again. If you are a beginner, focus on the basics and leave the variations for later.


These types of borders are as complicated as they are beautiful.  Much more complicated than rod borders! We will break it down into smaller segments, and work slowly and carefully to acquire a mastery over this advanced topic. If this is completely new for you, watch only the first 3 parts for now (the basic principles), and then when you've had some practice, come back and watch the rest. Each lesson has a ton of information, and it might be a bit overwhelming when watching all at once.


I like to think of trac borders as "borders of one", since in this case, each upright works separately, and does not join another one along it's way, as in rod borders and plait borders. These types of borders may be the easiest, simplest borders to make, but can also be quite complicated and confusing. They can have a plain and simple look to them, but can also have an over-the-top, decorative look, so, a lot of versatility.


Square baskets are finished in their own unique way that's designed to make the corners very neat and square looking. The changes are made only around the corners and the borders are otherwise the same. We will focus mainly on behind-two rod borders, as these are the most commonly used borders for square work, but we'll also look at behind-one rod borders and various types of plait borders. We'll begin with exposed corner posts, proceed to covered corner posts, and finally look at blunt corners.


After going over the three main types of borders, I wanted to share my process of choosing the right border. There are many things to consider here: looks, handle, spaces, thickness of the material, quality of the material, and more. Hopefully, my own thoughts on the subject will be of good use to you.


This lesson examines some fundamental questions regarding the making of rod borders in willow. How many uprights should we kink at the start of the border? And at what point should we kink them? How much space should we leave at the first weaving move, and why? And what is the rule you can use to remember that? These are my personal thoughts on these matters, and if they'll be as useful to you as they are to me, I'll consider this lesson a success.

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