Re: willow
Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:35pm

Hi Debbie,

What you are looking for is "buff" willow. It's been boiled and then the bark is taken off to expose the inner willow that is a light brown or honey color. When I was in England in 2006 on a fellowship, I watched the process at Musgrove's Willow Growers. Very interesting!

Jim Widess at The Caning Shop used to import it, but I don't think he does anymore. The only other supplier that I know of that imports buff willow is Bonnie Gale at English Basketry Willows in New York.

You might also check with Katherine Lewis at Dunbar Gardens in Washington State, but I'm not sure if she makes any of the buff willow. She uses most of hers with the bark on.

Another person you can check with is Judy Zugish and her husband Bill Roeder in Washington also, that own /Fishsticks weaving school and nursery. Bill skeins his own willow, so most likely uses buff too, or can maybe tell you where it can be purchased if he doesn't sell the materials.

Hope this helps Debbie and you're able to get the correct material to repair the picnic basket! Buff willow was used a great deal in wicker furniture until the 1970s here in the US, but it's still the material of choice in Poland and other countries for willow furniture as well as basketry.

The Wicker Woman®--Cathryn Peters

  • willow Deb Kinghan, Fri Mar 31 10:22pm
    Hi Weavers, I just got in an antique pic-nic basket to repair and I am looking for willow to repair it. I have looked but can not find a supplier for the material I need. Can anyone suggest a source... more
    • willow JIm Widess, Sat Apr 1 2:37am
      Hi Debbie, I have buff and white willow in 6' lengths. At least buff and white only take an hour of soaking in hot water and 30 minutes of mellowing to make it ready for use - but working with willow ... more
      • Re: willow The Wicker Woman®--Cathryn, Sat Apr 1 6:25pm
        Oh Jim, I'm so happy to hear that you DO have buff and white willow, I thought you had discontinued carrying it at all. So at 6' lengths the butts must be pretty big diameter then, right? The Wicker... more
        • willow JIm Widess, Sat Apr 1 7:24pm
          The butts aren't really too big. 1/4" or slightly larger. I've used it to repair rims on may baskets. Jim
    • Re: willow The Wicker Woman®--Cathryn, Fri Mar 31 11:35pm
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