News from Kosmopolitan Baskets
We are delighted to introduce Moses Maskets from Ghana – with a WOW factor!
These are sturdy beautiful baskets hand woven in co-operatives in Northern Ghana. They are made from veta vera grass (also known as elephant grass) which weaves into very strong baskets, perfect for your sleeping baby. They take about three days to complete and are made by both male and female weavers.
These workers have usually been taught the age-old art of basket weaving from their own mothers and fathers. Agricultural work is the mainstay of most weavers’ family incomes, but poor rainfall often makes life extremely challenging. Basket weaving brings the opportunity to earn a valuable second income and also gives flexibility to workers as they can work from home if necessary.
These baskets come in stunning patterns and colours, giving a fun and unusual addition to early motherhood. They have sturdy woven handles wrapped in soft and sustainably sourced goat’s leather (we do recommend however that you take baby out before moving the basket). Each basket comes with a soft, quilted hypoallergenic foam mattress.
One of the most striking is the Black Patterned Moses Basket with its’ bold ethnic pattern. This goes with any colour scheme and brings added pleasure to baby’s naps!
The Pink Orange and Turquoise design will make you smile and we’d like to think it will give you a little boost of energy every time you look at it! We know how tiring motherhood can be!
The Coloured Diamond Patterned Moses Basket uses softer colours and less dazzling patterns but with the same individuality to baby’s nap time.
Of course, one of the best things about these moses baskets is the fact that they are ethically produced and give work to local communities in areas of Ghana in great need of additional income.
They make the ultimate gift for any new mother and bring a bit of panache wherever you take them.
Keep an eye on your baby whilst it sleeps, wherever you need to be. This safe and stylish bed can be passed on to any new arrival too!
Browse our lovely selection of wicker baskets for your plants, both for indoors or out. Rattan makes lovely sturdy containers for floral and foliage displays. We have the classic brown pot holders for smaller pots in two styles. There are the classic simple rustic holders in a set of three or the finer and more decorative set of five from Lombok. These are ideal for around the house or in a conservatory.
At the moment we have a larger selection of planters in the grey rattan. The window box style is available as a simple basket in two sizes. You can line these yourself to suit your planting and it has handles to help attach to a ledge.
A recent new addition to our stock is this very sturdy trough planter with a metal liner and a bluish finish which compliments green foliage beautifully. They are very good quality, usable indoors or out and will last for many years.
Another rattan planter with a metal liner is square shaped and lined with zinc. This stunning container would look fabulous on a patio with a taller plant, such as an Olive or Bay tree with a slender trunk. Usable indoors or out.
These two have plastic liners. The shorter one has a plastic bowl with no drainage holes so is suitable for indoor plants in pots. The larger and taller one has plastic liner with drainage holes. They make a real impact wherever they are.
Of course we also stock the classic wicker hanging basket with 3 sturdy metal chains and hook for hanging in your chosen position. These can be refilled throughout the year with seasonal plants so you always have a stunning display.
No collection of garden baskets would be complete without a trug and we have a choice of three for you. There is the classic natural brown in two sizes, small or large, the smaller being especially good for harvesting vegetables. Both of these can double up as kindling and log holders by the fire in the winter when you’re not doing so much gardening! We now also have a very stylish grey rattan trug which is fabulous for picking flowers and herbs around the garden. The smaller trugs are also ideal for creating displays around the home with dried flowers or vegetables in the kitchen.
We know how useful reviews are when buying online so we have just set up a system which enables you to see what other customers have thought of each product and also allows you to leave a review once you have received your purchase.
You may not see that many product reviews as yet as this is just the beginning and we are not going to leave them ourselves!
What happens is that about 5 days after you make your purchase – enough time for you to have received your item – you will get an email asking you to leave a review. It gives you a link to click on so the whole process is clear and simple. It only takes a minute! We would be really grateful if you would do this for us. You can just fill in the star rating section or you can leave a comment as well, which we would love you to do.
We know that a lot of people use Amazon to check out product reviews before buying elsewhere, and in our opinion that is the only way you should use Amazon! But because our products are not universally available you will not be able to do this here. Many of our items are only available in a handful of retail outlets and because we have a policy of selling the best quality basketware, you can use reviews on other products to indicate the general quality of our stock. We do not sell cheap brittle willow imports. Almost all our baskets are made from rattan in Indonesia and Myanmar or palm in Morocco.
Quality goods will last a very long time which is great economically and environmentally. There is a movement in the fashion industry against the mega-cheap, throw-away culture of outlets like Primark which we fully endorse. A good basket can last you a lifetime!
So when you have made your purchase and received you email asking you to leave a review, please do so. It only takes a minute. It helps us and it helps others, and when others do it, it helps you!
Diana & Pete
If you take a look in our Laundry Basket section you’ll see we have something for every style and size of bathroom. Whether you have tons of space and need lots of capacity for a big family, or live on your own with style as a priority, we think you will find just the thing to suit you.
We have two sizes of the classic clothes basket, oval in shape, with handles for carrying. These are useful for taking dirty clothes to the washing machine and then out to the washing line and back when dry. They can also be used as a laundry basket in the bathroom – good as a log basket too!
Choice of two sizes
All our other baskets made specifically for laundry have lids to keep things looking tidy. There’s a classic Rattan Linen Basket with a Calico liner in a choice of two sizes, so if it’s volume you need the large one will suit you! It’s also very robust. Another Lined Linen Bin has a short liner held in place with velcro. The basket itself is very handsome and is made from pale peeled rattan, also known as rattancore, and has a pleasing pattern around the centre made from twisted bananleaf. This also comes in a choice of two sizes.
Grey Wicker Laundry Basket
There is another pale coloured laundry basket available made from palm – Palm Laundry Basket. This comes from Morocco and is simple and lightweight with handles and a lid. If you like a simple basket but prefer the darker wicker you may like the Round Lacak Laundry Basket with a lid.
Grey wicker has become really popular in the last 5 years or so. If that’s your preference then you will like the Square Grey Laundry Basket with a Calico lining with a double-weave pattern around the centre. This has lots of space and will suit modern or traditional bathroom styles.
One of my favourites is the small Drum Laundry Basket made from rattan peel woven around rattancore, but it won’t suit the needs of a large family! It is such a pleasing basket and can also be used in any room as an occasional table with useful hidden storage.
Our Wicker Moses Baskets have been selling particularly well recently, which has kindled my curiosity as to the history of these wonderful baskets. Many people are familiar with the “myth” of the baby Moses who was hidden in rushes on the bank of the River Nile. According to the legend the Egyptian Pharaoh, fearing that the Hebrews were getting too powerful, commanded that all Israelite baby boys to be drowned in the river. Moses’s mother Jochebed naturally thought this was a very bad idea and concealed him for three months in a watertight wooden chest. She feared for his imminent discovery and Jochebed placed the baby in a wicker basket and floated him down the Nile.
The Pharaoh’s daughter happened to be bathing in the river as he was drifting by. Being a compassionate sort, she decided not only to rescue him but also adopt him. Apparently Miriam the sister of Moses on hearing of this suggested to the Pharaoh’s daughter that he be nursed by none other than Jochebed in the Pharaoh’s palace. Consequently Moses not only escaped the Pharaoh’s cruelty, but was brought up in the Hebrew Tradition by his natural mother.
What a great narrative! Though some archaeologists claim that the story has some basis in fact, it may be based on the strikingly similar story of Sargon a legendary of Akkadian King. Fragments of text found in the mid-19th century describe the young King Sargon as the illegitimate son of a high priestess and went as follows:
“My mother was a high priestess, my father I knew not. The brothers of my father loved the hills. My city is Azupiranu, which is situated on the banks of the Euphrates. My high priestess mother conceived me, in secret she bore me. She set me in a basket of rushes, with bitumen she sealed my lid. She cast me into the river which rose over me. The river bore me up and carried me to Akki, the drawer of water. Akki, the drawer of water, took me as his son and reared me. Akki, the drawer of water, appointed me as his gardener. While I was a gardener, Ishtar granted me her love, and for four and … years I exercised kingship.”
Though the texts are from the 7th to 8th century BC the legend dates from much earlier perhaps 2334 BC.
Another almost identical legend comes from the Mahabharata Hindu texts. It relates how the adolescent virgin, Pritha was impregnated by the sun god Sura. In shame Pritha placed the infant in a basket sealed by bees wax. The basket floated down the rivers Charmanavati, and Yamuna before reaching the Ganges. The basket was found by a charioteers wife. Husband and wife adopted the infant and raise him as their own son. This child was Karna who went on to become one of the foremost warriors in the Mahabharata. It has been noted by Scholars that the Moses, Sargon and Karna stories are similar to infant exposures in European and Asian legend.
While we do not recommend floating your infant down a river or leaving him or her on a mountain top, we can assure parents that their child will be safe and snug in one of our stylish, eco-friendly, Palm Moses Baskets.
A great gift for any child.
This large Rocking Horse has hand-holds and foot rests, and will give a great imaginary experience of horse riding!
It is hand made in Indonesia from rattan pole woven with split rattan and rattan peel. It is very sturdy and designed to look like a horse. This will provide any child with hours of fun and encourage imaginative play away from ever-present computer screens! Get your child to give it a name and watch them enter the magical world of the imagination!
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!