These baskets were made in Ghana specifically for Empower for Hope with an organization that follows fair trade principles.
The veta vera straw also called Elephant grass is harvested from the top of grass stalk. Each straw is divided into half vertically. Each half is twisted and rolled on a smooth surface to put them together tightly to make it strong for the desire work. Then the straws are grouped into bunches to be boiled in organic dye to have the desired color to suit the design is intend for, the grass comes in a natural light yellow color.
After coloring and semi dried, then the weaving begins, straws are carefully selected for a particular parts and product eg. stronger straws are selected for fruit baskets, Moses basket etc. flexible ones are used for fans, hand bags etc. but not forgetting that foundation of all the product needs stronger straws being Moses basket or fan for lasting and quality.
Weaving starts at the base up to the rim, we then core some of the straw to make handle for the basket.
After completing weaving, local leather is used to coat the handles for comfort and easily handling.
Baskets can be reshaped by lightly wetting them, reshaping and setting them in the sun to dry. Be careful not to get the leather handle wet.