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Swaziland Sisal "Titja" Basket, 12"

12" Across x 4" H

The Masterweave Collection baskets represent the pinnacle of basket weaving. These Swazi baskets are the highest quality baskets woven in Swaziland, and among the highest quality woven in the world. Each basket is peer reviewed and priced according to 11 different criteria of weave quality.

This highly collectible basket was handmade from Sisal fibers gathered from the sisal plant (a weed). The sisal plant is in the Agave family and its fibers are so known for strength that it is increasingly being used as an environmentally friendly strengthening agent to replace harmful substances in industrial production processes.

Each fiber is harvested, dried, hand dyed, dried again, then rolled against the weaver's leg until the perfect thread is drawn out. An average of 80 hours per 12-inch diameter basket makes these one of the most labor intensive of all African baskets for their size.

As a bowl gets larger, it takes more and more time to weave because the coils on each row become much longer as the bowl flares upwards and outwards. So adding one row at the top of the basket, could be equivalent to weaving 5-7 rows or more in the base of the basket. This is the reason the larger baskets are more unusual, take so much more time to create and are only done by Masterweavers.

These baskets are traditionally given as gifts and symbolize long and happy life.

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