Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Water Hyacinth: A Pest, a Weed, a Basket

water hyacinths in bloom

Water hyacinth is reviled as an "invasive nuisance" and "one of the worst invasive species in the world." But water hyacinth is being turned into some nice baskets - and if there was ever a renewable resource to use for making stuff, it's the water hyacinth!

3 round baskets

It's pretty easy to find them; these baskets come from Cost Plus World Market (always a nice place to look for baskets of all sorts). Update on August 29, 2010: Cost Plus no longer has these specific water hyacinth baskets, but it does have other ones.

square water hyacinth basket

And you can also find them sold in some museum shops. Update on August 29, 2010: The museum shop that sold this basket no longer carries it.

2 round water hyacinth baskets; one has fruit inside

A Greater Gift sells these baskets with bamboo rims. Update on August 29, 2010: A Greater Gift is gone, and I'm not finding these baskets anywhere else.

3 water hyacinth square baskets with lids

Moving over to Australia, OZ Design Furniture has a few water hyacinth baskets and bins. Update on October 15, 2012: OZ Design Furniture no longer sells these baskets.

water hyacinth basket on wheels

There are lots of nice options in the UK; this one comes from Mamas & Papas. Update on October 15, 2012: I'm no longer finding this product.

water hyacinth linen basket

John Lewis sells water hyacinth storage boxes, trunks, and this double linen basket.

water hyacinth linen basket with metal frame

Terracotta Spice also sells water hyacinth linen baskets - with seagrass edging and a metal frame. Update on August 29, 2010: I don't see this basket any more.

3 rectangular water hyacinth baskets, nested

Zara Home has these rectangular baskets in three sizes, as well as a napkin basket. Update on August 29, 2010: Zara Home no longer has these baskets.

2 water hyacinth rectangular baskets with handles

And Ethical Superstore has these baskets made in Vietnam by Mai Handicrafts, which "aims to find work for neglected families by selling Vietnamese Handicraft products to local and export markets, to customers that care about a fair wage & working conditions." Update on August 29, 2010: Ethical Superstore no longer has these baskets.

3 tall water hyacinth baskets

Finally, moving on to Germany, Dekolust Geschenkartikel sells these baskets for newspapers or umbrellas, as well as laundry baskets and planter baskets. Update on June 25, 2012: These products have disappeared from that web site.

Related posts:
Baskets made by African artisans
Tiny Little Baskets
Two Beautiful Blue Baskets
Baskets: Storage Can Be Beautiful

[Water hyacinth photo from CALFED Bay-Delta Program]


Anonymous said...

Oh, I love that sweet little basket from Mamas and Papas.

Jeri Dansky said...

Tanna, I'm glad you like it - I've been waiting to fit that into a blog post from the minute I saw it!

painted fish studio said...

gorgeous basket finds - now i want to go shopping! :)

Anonymous said...

wow I love these baskets :) - I'm looking for something like this but I live in NZ :(

Jeri Dansky said...

Darn it, Anonymous - I thought I had found some nice water hyacinth baskets in New Zealand (not cheap, though) but Trumps is out of stock.

elina said...

Beautiful Baskets!