Velvet Basket Directions
This basket is what I call a hybrid; continuous base, taper and 4 butted rows up the side.
It is faster than an all butted basket, yet has the advantage of a smooth top and the possibility of altering each row color-wise. Also, the inside of the basket can be the 'better side'.
If you want the basket to be 3 rows instead, you could use just 2 of the full (60") pieces and vary the use of the fabrics, e.g., 2 of one then 2 of the other.
The basket could be made all continuous.
3 of my FULL 6x60” velvet pieces
Lacing thread; I prefer thinner thread such as linen or vintage carpet and button thread but normal cotton splicing thread will work.
Cut 3 strips of each color at 1.5” width. A rotary cutter and healing mat is the best way to get a sharp edge. Fold the velvet piece twice nap down, so that the piece is about 15” then cut.
Begin the base with any method you prefer; I like the enclosed end start for baskets because it makes a nice flat start. Braid as usual with double folds. Since the velvet is stretch, it may take a little practice to feel comfortable braiding. Use hemostat to adjust the folds if necessary. Braid fairly tightly, but not to the point of stretching the velvet too much. Practice!
The first 3 strips should yield a 6 ¾” diameter base. Use a short taper and pull the base to disguise the taper. If you press, use only medium heat, right side down and with a pressing cloth. Velvet will burn so be careful with heat. Because the velvet is stretch it is usually not necessary to press, just pull into shape. Last photo shows basket base.
Braid and butt 4 rows using your preferred butt method. I prefer Annie’s Fanny but all methods are good. Braid so that the base is facing up. Readjust loops with hemostat.
You may wish to vary the color combinations.
You should have 1+ strip of 1.5” of each color left over.
Contact me if you want to choose velvet and have me make your basket!