News from Kosmopolitan Baskets
This Christmas I have vowed to only give presents that I know people want, that are well made, ethical and come from small sellers. It dawned on me that that is exactly what Kosmopolitan does! We have such a wide range of useful items in all sorts of shapes and sizes, they are bound to be pleased. And who doesn’t love a basket!
Also, our baskets are all really well made so you know you are giving them something that will last for many years. This is really important at a time when we are all realising we need to minimise our consumption and opt out of the throwaway society.
Now you just have to make sure you buy what they want. Here’s a little help…
For little ones …
How about a rocking horse for galloping away
… or a chair for quietly looking at a new book
… or a cute little shopping basket filled with sweets or treats.
For a garden-loving friend …
A rattan planter for stylish conservatory or patio plants
… or a hanging basket ready planted with some winter flowering plants
… or a set of 5 finely woven plant pot holders.
For Granny! …
How about a breakfast tray for leisurely breakfasts in bed
… or a trinket box to keep special things safe
… or an egg basket for a stylish kitchen display.
For Dad …
A sturdy log basket for beside the fire
… a bottle carrier to keep his favourite tipple safe!
… or a wastepaper basket for beside his desk.
Mum would love …
A Moroccan basket to carry around town
… a classy lampshade for the living room
… or a stunning giant tablemat as a statement centrepiece.
And there’s even one for your dog!
Choose from our great range for all shapes and sizes of dogs!
Woof woof !
Great gift for any child this Christmas.
This large Rocking Horse is made from very sturdy rattan pole with hand-holds and foot rests and will give a great imaginary experience of horse riding! It will provide any child with hours of fun and encourage imaginative play away from ever-present computer screens! Throw a rug or sheepskin over it for greater comfort.
No need to hide it away in a bedroom – the simple and pleasing design will look great in any room.
See here for more details.
If this winter is anything like the last one you’ll want to be ready with a good store of logs by your hearth. For me one of the best things about winter is settling down in front of the fire, perhaps with a glass of red wine or a cocoa and feeling really cosy through the long dark nights.
Whether you have an open fire or a woodburning stove you will need something to keep your logs in. There are various options available depending on space and your ability to carry heavy weights! They all have handles but some may be too large to easily carry when fully loaded so you need something smaller to top it up with such as this Esparto Grass Log Carrier. It is a practical and rustic basket which can also be kept beside the fire.
Colour and shape?
So now you know what size you are looking for there are more choices to be made! Our log baskets come in a range of different colours – either the classic natural honey brown rattan, the darker Croco rattan, or the currently very fashionable and chic grey.
But you can’t stop there. You have to decide between round, square, oblong or oval or more unusual shapes.
The other choice needing to be made is whether to have a lined log basket. If you carry or move it around then you might be wise to have one with a lining to keep your floor clean. Our liners are made of tough hessian.
You also have to light your fire so you need somewhere to store the kindling. We have two baskets specially made for this. The Square Dark Rattan Fireside Basket has two separate compartments for kindling and paper/firelighters and the Round Grey Kindling Basket has a lid to keep things looking tidy. You can also use the small sizes of our log baskets such as the Trug or Square Shaped Log Basket.
Discover our new range of chic shoppers …
We have a lovely selection of fabulous French shopping baskets to show you.
The old favourites are back, such as the Long Handled Shopper and the Large French Market Basket with short handles (which we also call the Supermarket Shopper as that’s what we use ours for!)
There are various options for the handles, although we mainly sell leather as we think sisal ones are rather rough on the hands, especially when full of veg from the local market! There are long or short handles, but also some in-between that fit over the shoulder and can also be carried by hand.
Some have a calico lining and others have a leather trim on the top edge for extra durability.
And that’s just the plain ones! We also stock patterned, embroidered, sequined and fringed bags so there is bound to be one to suit you! See full range here.
Although they are sold as shopping baskets they can also be great for storage in the home – towels in your bathroom, clothes in the bedroom or knitting by the sofa! They are also handy for picnics or the beach.
And there is a selection for your children too. The plain ones come with leather or sisal handles, which make great children’s party bags. Try also using them as decorative storage around the house – soaps in the bathroom, onions and garlic in the kitchen and dried flowers or pot pourri in your bedroom. There are even ones with pink sequin hearts or green stars on!
All these baskets are handmade by small producers or families in Morocco, even though they are known as French Market Baskets. It’s because they are so stylish that they became popular in France!
Remember, these baskets are not just for summer – they work all year round! And they really are the environmental option when it comes to shopping. Supermarkets suggest it’s green to buy one of their long-life bags, but they are still made of plastic which will be polluting the earth for hundreds or thousands of years. So be stylish and ethical at the same time – what’s not to love!!
Rattan an unsurpassed material
I was wondering why rattan has been such an enduring and ubiquitous material for basket weaving. And then I began thinking about balloon baskets and a little research led me to a well-known hot air balloon specialist in the US which offers us this explanation:
“With so many new synthetic materials to choose from, why still use wicker?
It is still the best choice for strength, flexibility, impact-absorbency, and ease of repair as well as being lightweight. It doesn’t shatter in extremely cold temperatures or upon impacting very rigid surfaces! The wicker, rather than you and your passengers, will absorb much of the shock on landing. And it is aesthetically quite pleasing. Wicker (Rattan) is a natural material grown in Southeast Asia. Only the finest quality cane, Kubu, Pallan Bang and natural Manau rattans are used for the primary construction”
I should perhaps mention at this point that wicker is a generic term that is used for a variety of natural materials the principal of these being rattan and willow
So what has this got to do with our dog baskets or indeed all our rattan baskets?
Well of course there is durability – with a little care one of our kubu Rattan dog baskets will last for decades or several canine generations. This thought fills me both with foreboding and comfort:
Foreboding because at some point our best friends make their way to doggy heaven and this is always a loss hard to bear because of the very special friendship we have with them.
Comfort because the basket is a handmade symbol of continuity and life’s interconnections that reminds us of the cyclical nature of existence as one generation makes way for another.
So while your common-place unhygienic, stuffed fabric bed makes its way to landfill after a year or two a Kosmopolitan basket will last for decades and is of course is biodegradable.
A rattan pet bed is also inherently hygienic.
It can be washed, dusted or vacuumed and disinfected with ease as long as it is dried well before use. And of course then there the aesthetic qualities of a beautifully hand woven item.
Our Dog beds are very “handsome“ as we say down here in Cornwall. In my opinion the most desirable objects are also practical as form follows function. And last but not least Rattan is a sustainable material principally grown in South East Asia. It is a creeping vine which requires trees to provide support. In other words it needs forests to grow in.
So rest assured, when you buy a Kosmopolitan Dog Bed you will be getting a beautiful, practical, sustainable product that you and yours will delight in for many years to come.
The most elegant Xmas Tree Skirt
Well, I know it’s early to start talking about Christmas but we have been selling Wicker Christmas Tree Skirts all year round! Some people like to be well prepared and others may just have only just heard about them and don’t want to miss out. They have been our best -selling line over the past two Christmases which doesn’t surprise me at all! They are probably the best quality and value tree skirts you can buy.
Hiding an ugly Christmas tree stand or bucket has always been a problem. We used to use crepe paper as children, but it quickly looked tatty, especially if you spilt water on it when topping up its supply to keep the needles from falling! Our rattan Christmas tree collars do the job with style and elegance, but are also sensible, ethical and financially wise as they will last for many years.
Our Christmas Tree Skirts or collars are hand made from robust grey rattan with a whitewash finish and come in four sizes (extra-large added this year!) They are hard-wearing and easily cleaned You can hoover them to get rid of the dust, wipe them with a cloth to remove any stains or even rinse them under running water for a thorough clean – if you do this, make sure you dry them thoroughly before putting them away for the year or they may become mouldy.
It is important that you measure your stand properly to make sure you get the right size as these tree skirts are rigid and will not bend. We give internal dimensions of each size on the listing, so measure the diameter of your base and add 4 or 5 cm to make sure there is plenty of room. If you are unsure please do get in touch with us for advice. Please note that these items are hand woven and may vary slightly in size and colour, so it’s best to allow 5% tolerance.
The branches of your tree should extend beyond the bottom of the Christmas tree skirt so that it looks in proportion – this is really more important than the height of your tree. Also if you can only afford a little tree, why not put it on a small table or footstool to give it extra height and bigger impact. Our wicker Christmas tree skirts look just as good with an artificial tree as a real one
So if you love Christmas time, or it’s just a brilliant excuse to get all the family together, make sure you grab one of these Wicker Skirts for maximum Xmas tree impact.
Merry Christmas everyone!!
How about using this cute child’s shopping basket as a container for a vase of flowers or pot holder!
Get creative with our baskets. These bright sunflowers create instant sunshine but this basket would look stunning with a specimen cactus or lovely lavender. No need for fancy vases now!
You can find them here …
We have put together basketware suitable for creating outdoor living spaces so that you can make the most of this wonderful summer. Take a look here at basketware for dining in the garden or on the patio, including fruit bowls, bread baskets and trays, wicker bottle carriers and cutlery or condiment holders.
There’s also a fabulous range of wicker planters to fill with herbs or flowers and a couple of bicycle baskets summer cycle rides! Make memories to last until the next summer comes – your baskets will still be there for many years of summer living!
We have some fabulous new shapes and sizes of wicker planters in stock, made from best quality grey rattan. These are the perfect way to display your treasured plants and give your patio that wow factor as they have built-in liners for immediate planting. You can just place ready potted plants in them too. It’s very fashionable right now!
For the full range click here.
The grey wicker shows off green foliage brilliantly and using different textures together compliments the weave of the basket. Also try experimenting with darker or reddish foliage and natural brown wicker for exciting patio displays. Coleus, red-leaved dahlias, grasses, phormium and heuchera all have fantastic coloured foliage to play with. Climbers, spiky leaved plants and ferns all add drama to your planter. If you have a tall plant with little foliage at the bottom you can put smaller plants around the base for added interest. Fill a small planter with brightly coloured annuals for instant colour and place it on your outside dining table.
But you don’t have to be restricted by choosing a planter! Many of our log or storage baskets are ideal as plant pot containers too. You can either allow free drainage through the wicker if it has a tight weave, or line it with plastic to sit your pot plants in. You can also use thick plastic and fill with compost to plant straight into the basket. Try using a basket with a handle and hang it from a tree or porch, filled with trailing nasturtiums or lobelia. Because container planting is often temporary you can let your playful creativity run free!
Don’t forget they look stunning inside the house too, and not just in a conservatory. The tiny child’s shopping baskets look lovely with a vase of flowers on the windowsill and a larger indoor palm or cheeseplant will look very dramatic in a log basket woven from thick rattan. Indoor basket planters really are all the rage this year! Try filling a shopping basket with herb plants and it will look gorgeous on a kitchen windowsill, inside or out. Beautiful and practical too!
Wicker will survive damp conditions well, but as it is a natural material it will eventually degrade. Maybe put them under cover in harsh, wet winter weather.
Two new baskets for your dining table!
We now have these lovely open weave rectangular baskets in a choice of natural light or stained dark rattan. Not only that, you can choose from small or large!
They have a clean and pleasing appearance and are very practical, having a removable and washable calico liner.
They could also be used without the liner as a fruit basket or for vegetable storage in the kitchen.
These best sellers are back just in time for you to create stunning garden displays. Made of chunky grey rattan, these planters are ideal to show off your plants. Either fill with pots or line with plastic and plant direct into the window box. There is a choice of two sizes and both have 2 handles at the back for easy attachment to window ledge, or perhaps hanging on a wall. More info:
They look stunning filled with herbs and placed close to your kitchen door ready to create summery meals, or perhaps around a BBQ area where they can be nibbled straight from the plant!
These superb quality trunks from Myanmar make it easier to keep your house tidy and look beautiful. They have plenty of space to store less-used items and a handy tray for smaller things. They are finely woven from rattan peel and rattan pole and add glamour to any room.