from her hands, to your home
Collaborative Color Palettes
Simple Materials from the EarthRaffia, a fiber from a native palm tree, grows naturally on the shores of Lake Victoria in the southeastern part of Uganda and in other tropical areas of Africa. Banana fiber makes up the interior of the basket coils and are harvested directly from banana trees in the village. Stalks of the banana tree are cut and split into thin fibers and then dried in the sun.
Natural Dye Process
Colors from the Forest
The artisans are masters in natural dying techniques; they plant community garden spaces to grow plants that produce many of the natural colors found in their handmade baskets. Natural materials such as hibiscus flowers, indigo, madder root and turmeric are mashed in large wooden mortar and pestles to release the dyes from the plant fibers.
Heat Creates DepthThe natural dyes are created by heating the plant fibers with water in metal tubs over open flames. The raffia is added to simmer in the dye bath until the color saturates the raffia - the longer the raffia is allowed to sit in the dye bath the deeper the natural color becomes.
Transformation is New Possibility
Wood ash is often added to the dye bath to adjust the pH level and achieve different color variation. Almost magically, ash can be used to create a variety of colors from a single plant source. Once the raffia has reached the desired color, it is removed from the dye bath and rinsed.
Stunning Palettes of Village LifeLike earthly decorations, dyed raffia is hung to dry on lines throughout the village.
Once completely dry, the artisans begin the weaving and designing process.
It's More Than Just a BasketEach basket weaver has her own personal journey and story to tell. Each one has been impacted by the crafts that they produce. They each have stories of hope and resilience which are woven into each basket.
Meet the Weavers
The Start of Something Beautiful
Each basket begins with a tightly woven spiral foundation and grows as the weavers wrap raffia around coiled banana fiber. An array of both natural and synthetically dyed raffia are used to create intricate and innovative patterns.