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DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Project: Bamboo-Woven Basket

Updated on August 6, 2013

How I came up with this project

Philippines is basically a bamboo country. It’s tropical climate and the abundance of rainfall each year aid in the production of many bamboo varieties that serve as one of the important materials (posts, walls, flooring, windows and other decorative materials in building typical native houses.

In this project, I tried making a bamboo basket with the aid of a local expert, whom I call Nana Pining (an elderly) who makes a living in making different kinds of bamboo baskets.

She usually chooses the non-thorny bamboo variety, since it can easily be cleaned and split into thin strips in order to make the procedure easier.

Since we cannot find the available material, I settled on the thorny ones (young bamboo stem) which I already cut. She gladly obliged to direct me in cleaning the bamboo pole, splitting and thinning it, until the first step of weaving the material into a basket.

For a newbie in weaving, this hubber embarked to an unforgettable summer project that will hone him in testing his skills to make a variety of bamboo baskets in the future.

My Bamboo Basket

I made a bamboo basket! (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala aka travel_man1971)
I made a bamboo basket! (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala aka travel_man1971)

The Bamboo Basket Project

  1. Choose to cut a straight and young bamboo stalk that can be easily cut.
  2. After cleaning the bamboo pole by removing its outer edges, split it into half-an-inch by two meters. 18 strips will make a 20-inch square-based bamboo basket. Remove the inner (white) soft part. The sturdy (green) outer part of the bamboo will be the basic material to be used in weaving the basket.
  3. Prepare the base by intercrossing the bamboo strips (8 strips, interweaving vertically and horizontally). Tie a temporary binder (probably plastic or banana strips) to hold the four edges of the base.
  4. Interlope its edges by crossing the two adjacent bamboo strips (the right bamboo strips under its left counterpart).
  5. Repeat the procedure of each two outer pairs until done.

Thinning the bamboo split

The elderly lady helping this hubber complete his project (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)
The elderly lady helping this hubber complete his project (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)

Remove the inner part as the green part of bamboo split will be the sole material in making the bamboo basket.

Removing the inner white part of the bamboo (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)
Removing the inner white part of the bamboo (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)

Crisscrossing the bamboo splits

The horizontal and vertical pattern of the bamboo splits as base of the bamboo basket (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)
The horizontal and vertical pattern of the bamboo splits as base of the bamboo basket (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)

Halfway to finishing the project

Completing the base of the basket (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)
Completing the base of the basket (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)

A closer look at one of the edges of basket's base

Two adjacent bamboo splits should intercross (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)
Two adjacent bamboo splits should intercross (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)

Knowing more about Bamboos

Here in the Philippines, bamboos (Bambuseae) about everywhere, especially at the riverbanks.

Filipinos can be compared to bamboos. They're resilient enough to face trials and perils of life living in tropical country, with all those natural calamities (storm, flood, et cetera) they face the whole year round.

Bamboo sticks can be used as martial arts gadget. Most fighting styles in China use bamboo poles and short bamboo sticks for protection of the fighter.

Here in the country, the martial art discipline called arnis uses two short bamboo sticks in learning the sport.

Have you seen and heard how the bamboo grows?

As the fastest growing grass (yes it is!), you can or will see that it grows about 3 to 10 centimeters a day with a unique sound ( I miss including it in my video).

There are ornamental bamboo variety and others grow as high as a two-storey building or more.

Here in Asia, most tropical countries have varieties of bamboos to be used as building materials, food delicacies and ornamental products.

How to plant the bamboo?

One of the local farmers here had shown me that a young stalk can be planted in a watery ground that will aid in the growing process.

DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Project - Bamboo Basket c/o Ireno Alcala

My bamboo basket with mangoes

My first bamboo basket (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)
My first bamboo basket (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)

How the 'basket lady' make a living out of making bamboo baskets

There are lots of innovation in making bamboo baskets.

It will depend on the kind of bamboo that you'll use, according to my elderly friend.

The kind lady opined and proudly said that she makes a living in making baskets for quite a long time, when her husband was still alive.

Until now, his deaf-mute son helps her in continuing their means of living.

Her products range from small to big bamboo baskets of different uses, for vending fresh catch of fish, fruit baskets and other products made of bamboo (wall decors, chairs to name a few).

Online market for Bamboo Baskets

eBay and Amazon online stores have variety of bamboo baskets to offer.

As shown below, there are bamboo baskets as organizers, fruit trays, oval or round shaped ones.

I searched for books that can offer techniques on making any kind of bamboo basket and I found one.

Comments

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    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @thumbi7: Thank you for noticing the mangoes. After I've finished the weaving, I immediately took the photo for posterity and it came out alright.

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 

      5 years ago from India

      The bamboo basket which you made is very beautiful especially when you filled them with fresh mangoes.

      Interesting article.

      Voted up and shared

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @tirelesstraveler: Thanks for appreciating my effort here. :)

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Mark Johann: Thanks for never forgetting where your roots are. It's good to be home, just the baskets you've seen as part of your happy memories.

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Jeevan Krishna: Yes, it is really an interesting endeavor. It can be one of your hobbies. Thanks for dropping by.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 

      5 years ago from California

      Learned to make baskets when we lived in Guam. They are really fun. Nice hub.

    • Mark Johann profile image

      Mark Johann 

      5 years ago from Italy

      I remember this one, when visiting my grandmother long long time ago. In the neighborhood in the Philippines, I saw how they made this basket made of bamboo.

      This is a very interesting hub. :) You shared a nice hub for this site.

    • Jeevan Krishna profile image

      Jeevan Krishna 

      5 years ago from Kerala

      its really interesting ..... i want to try it myself. :)

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