You probably knew this already so you won't have a hard time believing it: our FONOTT No.1 basket is made from willow. And willow is truly an amazing plant. Below you can find everything you always wanted to know about willow, but never dared to ask.
Basket bags are often called wicker baskets, but what exactly is wicker? Is it a material?
Actually, wicker is more like a technique and not so much a material. Wicker can be made from many different types of materials: bamboo, rattan, reed or willow. Wikipedia tells me that the word wicker is believed to be of Scandinavian origin: vika which means to bend in Swedish, and vikker meaning willow.
Ok so what is willow?
You surely have an image popping up in your head when you hear the word willow, probably something like this. But willow is a group of trees and shrubs with around 400 species. Our baskets are made from willow shrubs.
Why is willow such a good material? Is it renewable and sustainable?
Its latin name, Salix, sounds like a magic word and indeed, willow is nothing short of magical. Willow is one of the easiest trees to plant. If you take a willow branch and push it into prepared soil it will root and send up side shoots. After the first harvest the plant can renew quickly due to its ability to grow new shoots from the stump after being cut down. Willow grows fast, helps to purify the soil and absorbs carbon from the air.
Why is willow suitable for making baskets?
Willow twigs are the perfect material for wicker as they are solid yet flexible. Many items are made from willow that goes to show just how durable it is: furniture, baby cots, storage units and even coffins are made from willow. And of course baskets, for many different purposes.
Where do you source the willow twigs for your baskets?
Our willow twigs are grown sustainably in Hungarian willow plantations. Here willow is harvested yearly from the same stump, making it a renewable resource. The harvested twigs don't need to travel long to reach the artisans who will then turn them into pretty baskets as they are both located in Hungary.
Any famous willows?
But of course. You might have heard of the Whomping Willow from the Harry Potter series, but no record of any baskets made from this rather wild fella is documented.