STORAGEWORKS - June 10, 2023

Caring for Your Handwoven Baskets:
A Beginner's Guide

Handwoven water hyacinth baskets on the entryway side table

Handwoven water hyacinth baskets bring a touch of texture and warmth.

Renowned for their timeless beauty and durability, handwoven baskets are as functional as they are decorative, exuding a rustic charm while bringing a touch of texture and warmth into any space. Though they once served as essential household items, they are now widely used for their decorative, farmhouse appeal.

At STORAGEWORKS, we mainly use water hyacinth, seagrass, and paper rope to make handwoven baskets. Natural fibers are sun-dried to remove excess moisture before being woven by our artisans, while paper is converted into twines for easier manipulation. These materials are then skillfully woven over a sturdy iron frame using traditional weaving techniques passed down through generations.

Here, we've summarized essential care tips to help you prolong the lifespan of your handwoven baskets.

Handwoven seagrass baskets on the kitchen countertop beside the coffee machine

Handcrafted with care, seagrass baskets are as stylish as they are useful.

All these hanging organizers feature strong boards to support the weight of your belongings safely and to keep the shelves from losing shape. They also have useful side pockets to hold your smaller items while giving you easy access to the contents. The elegant, minimalist style means they can be employed openly, and they will blend into your decor with ease. Ideal for storing sweaters, shirts, knitwear, pants, handbags, shoes, hats, socks, ties, etc. Also, they are all collapsible, meaning that they can be easily stored when not in use.

Keep Away from Heat and Moisture

Changes in weather can lead to fluctuating temperature and humidity levels at home, which may harm your handwoven baskets. For instance, intense heat can dry out the fibers prematurely, causing them to flake, while the sun's ultraviolet rays can lead to fading and bleaching. Conversely, moisture may induce mold growth, attract insects, and even produce a musty odor.

Ensure consistent humidity and temperature levels by using air conditioners and dehumidifiers. Keep your baskets away from sources of extreme heat and high humidity, such as direct sunlight, kitchen stoves, fireplaces, bathroom showers, and damp basements.

A handwoven water hyacinth basket with an American Shorthair cat nestled inside

This is what happens when your cat loves the baskets a lot and you have a spare...

Keep Out of Reach from Children and Pets

While the sounds of little ones playing and pets excitedly barking fill our homes with cheer, they can also pose risks to your handwoven baskets. Little hands may pick at the seagrass fibers or peel away the water hyacinth strands, causing tears and fraying. Pets, particularly dogs, may chew on the basket edges and handles, creating holes and breaks in the weave. Their claws may also snag on the wicker, unraveling entire sections.

To protect both your wicker baskets and loved ones, keep the baskets out of reach of children and pets whenever possible. Regularly check for any damage, and promptly repair or discard baskets that have become hazardous.

Avoid Sources of Stains

Wicker baskets are prone to staining due to their porous and breathable nature. Grease, oils, and sticky foods can easily seep into the wicker fibers, leaving stubborn stains. Dark dyes from fabrics, newspapers, or other colored items can also bleed onto the wicker, causing the basket to adopt an undesirable hue.

When stains occur, clean the baskets immediately to minimize any lasting effects. An absorbent powder or oil-busting detergent can help remove grease and oil stains, while bleach may be required for dye transfer stains.

Handwoven seagrass cube baskets with cotton liners

Line the basket whenever needed.

Maintain Intended Use as Much as Possible

While handwoven baskets are versatile and used throughout homes, frequently changing what's stored in them can damage the weave over time. For example, using a basket to store items like towels or books, then transferring fruits and vegetables into the same basket, can lead to mold growth due to moisture seeping into the wicker. The basket may also absorbs odors from strongly scented items. It is best to designate baskets for specific types of storage and void rotating their use whenever possible.

If multi-purpose use is inevitable, line the basket with an absorbent cloth, paper towels, or a perforated plastic liner when storing damp or perishable goods. Once emptied, remove the liner and wipe the entire basket with a diluted bleach solution. Let it air dry completely before reusing it.

Dust the Baskets Regularly

Regular cleaning is essential for maintaining the appearance of your handwoven baskets. For daily dusting, use a feather duster, a soft natural bristle paintbrush, or the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner. For deeper cleaning or spot stains, slightly dampen a white cotton cloth with cold water and gently blot the area.

Avoid soaking your baskets in water or other liquids as it can cause the fibers to swell. For stubborn stains that require scrubbing, do so gently to prevent scuffing and scratching the wicker strands. Stay clear of abrasive cleaners and scrubbers, which can harm the wicker.

Rectangular wicker basket and handwoven round paper rope kitchen storage basket on side table at the entryway

Baskets woven with water hyacinth & seagrass and round paper ropes blend in perfectly with any home decor.

Additional Tips and Answers to Frequent Queries

  • Do the baskets have a smell?
  • Upon unpacking, the baskets might emit a natural woody scent. Rest assured, this is not due to chemicals. If you find it unpleasant, airing them in the sun for a few hours should help dissipate the smell.
  • Why are the dimensions for the baskets sometimes inaccurate?
  • The handwoven baskets are crafted manually by artisans, so sizes may vary within 1/4 inch.
  • Will the wicker end poke out of the basket and loosen?
  • Yes, some wicker ends may poke out slightly or hide inside the basket. As 100% handmade products, slight imperfections are normal, and the length of natural material is limited.


Proper care and maintenance are key to keeping your handwoven wicker baskets looking as good as new. By understanding their specific needs, you can enjoy their rustic charm and functionality for many years. With some care and attention, these baskets will continue to be a valuable addition to your home decor, adding an element of warmth and character to your space. Let's appreciate and cherish these handcrafted baskets for their unique imperfections, intricate weaves, and the artisanal tradition they represent.