It's early morning about 6 am and I sit in my balcony slowly sipping a beautiful moka pot brewed coffee from KC Roasters (my last stock picked just before the lockdown started, the natural rich cocoa flavour is delicious!), enjoying the morning peace as I eye my eight year old money-plant creeper to see how they are climbing all over the wall when my eye wanders down to the evenly woven wicker basket planter. It has weathered all the seasons over the last couple of years but holds strong, glowing as the sun rays fall and my thoughts deliberate over it's roots...
Wicker Planter in my balcony
I remember seeing these from when I was about 6 years old and my father started working with the skilled craftsmen from Kashmir to sell in Pune. They have since been a distinguished range in our products. The demand, beauty and charm has only grown and today, as we look at making a tighter product portfolio to sustain the uncertainty of Covid-19 economy, the wicker baskets confidently demand a strong foothold.
You have not heard of 'Keani Keam', but you have definitely seen the wicker baskets from Kashmir! These wicker baskets are rooted in the heavenly valleys of Kashmir, where locals call this craft - 'Keani Keam’.
The raw material to manufacture wicker baskets comes from the willow tree, and the best climatic conditions to grow the Willow is Ganderbal District and around, in Kashmir province, India.
Willow Trees, Kashmir
Basket weaving is one of the well established industries here. The origins are not definite, some claim it's from the European countries, and others that it originated in Egypt. Nonetheless what is definite is that it's completely handmade and 100% natural.
Interwoven with the daily lives of the locals, these have travelled since ancient times, served its purpose in all ages, travelled to cities and modern lifestyles and has almost supernatural properties in various forms!
Below a worker brushes the baskets thoroughly to make them shine for a client
Haven't we all seen these baskets at multiple places? It's seen in almost every home, a must buy for the new place you rented when you moved out on your own, in the local bakeries, five-star hotels your favourite restaurant, everybody has got a gift basket at least once in their life and it seems to have been around forever!
There are designs that are being used for decades and beautifully adapted over time & lifestyles.
Fifi @fifioscardiary found her own basket
Here is Katniss @kweenkatnisseverdeen a.k.a Puchki . This is her favourite place!
Below are baskets soaked in water to improve strength and colour
Moon basket is one of the oldest designs and still one of the most popular ones. Used now in modern kitchens to store dry vegetables, fruits. Can be easily kept inside the refrigerator as well to keep the vegetable separate, organised & visible.
Coffee Table basket- Katniss is usually found lounging in some wicker basket
Personal Care Baskets- bathroom accessories in a low height round basket tray
Personal care caddy : Spa basket with rolled towels, combs, earbuds, massagers
Tissue basket at the Ladies washroom, Taj Lands End
3. Display and Food serving baskets in cafes and bakeries
Roti Naan served in Wicker basket in a restaurant
Window display at The Body Shop
Counter display for water and juices in an Oval Wicker Basket at Starbucks, High-Street Balewadi
Bread baskets for window display at Indigo-Deli and Inox, Phoenix
Starbucks X'mas gift hamper basket, Nariman Point
Flower and gift display basket, online photos
Daisylife basket packaging
Is it only about how gorgeous they all look? Is it the even weaving that lends its calm? Is it the strength that holds? Is it the the material, the colour, the texture that adds the warmth? Or is there more to it!?
100% natural, earth and human-friendly, wicker baskets are versatile keeping up with the modern lifestyles and the fact that these are handmade, utility driven and value for money adds higher appeal.
These baskets center around simplicity. No harsh chemicals, no machines. Simply woven with willow wicker, hand skills taught over generations, the little details, time and warmth of nature.. they bring a feeling of calm in our fast paced city lifestyle, serenity of the woods, overall feel good vibes and a little thought - do good, live well!
Decide which basket you want here while you think about why you love them so much :)
The Roti basket is one of our favorites, because it stores breads and Rotis in their best form! At least that's what the proven wisdom of Aaji (granny) says!
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