Happy few keep basket-making alive in France

There are about 200 craft basket makers in France today

Crafts in focus: Basket-weaving is an ancient craft, but why are makers so few and far between in France?

La Vannerie, or basket-making in English, is an ancient craft that dates back to 8,600BC. For centuries, before plastic, it was essential to everyday life: a way to carry and store goods. Now, a handwoven basket is a luxury item.

The craft is also used for garden furniture and, increasingly, sculptures. There are an estimated 200 vanniers in the country today and only 2% of goods on the French market are “Made in France”.

Very few tools are needed: an awl, a pruning knife, a packing tool, secateurs and a ruler. However, the techniques can be difficult to master and artisans need to know the different qualities of plants.

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