The other Moroccan palm baskets are made with leaves from doum palm trees that line valleys and riverbeds in the south of Morocco. They are an essential source of income providing dates, which is a growing export product for Morocco, as well as helping prevent soil erosion from the strong desert winds and they also help shade the crops and fruit trees that grow beneath them. The trunks are used for house building and the fronds are then used to make baskets, mats, ropes, etc etc. Our baskets are woven in villages about 2 hours from Fès in north Morocco.
The palm leaves are woven into strips and the strips are then sewn together to make up the baskets. The palm is splashed with water during weaving to help make it more malleable which helps make a tighter weave. Depending on the size, it takes 3-4 hours to make each basket.
They are then collected and taken to seamstresses near Casablanca for the leather handles to be sewn on. The leather is a by-product from meat production (cow). The twine for sewing the handles is pulled through bee’s wax to make for smoother stitches through the leather and palm leaves. We have always requested the sewn handles, they are just as strong as metal rivets but have the added advantage of not going rusty in our damp climate!
NB: They don’t mind getting wet as long as they’re allowed to thoroughly dry out because the palm will become mouldy if left damp. People have commented on the finish of the palm leaf baskets at the rim - there is sometimes a bit of a dip on one side, this is not a fault it’s how the final strip of the palm is attached to the lower strip and part of the handmade process.
Approximate size: length of top 65cm x width of base 25cm x height 41cm
All our products are handmade so there is likely to be slight variation with each one.