News from Kosmopolitan Baskets


 

Wicker Christmas Tree Skirts – get yours here!

Once again our Christmas Tree skirts are proving really popular already. We sold a few all year round but people are really beginning to focus on Christmas; we need something to take our minds off ‘other things’ I think!

Our wicker skirts come in a choice of 4 sizes so you can get the best fit for your tree. If you do a search for tree skirts online Google comes up with all sorts of things. They are made from metal, material, faux fur and even tinsel. Ours are made from very strong rattan with a whitewashed grey finish. They are very robust, not brittle like some of the cheaper willow ones you may find.

Buy your fabulous best quality Christmas Tree Skirt here

As you now have the opportunity to leave reviews once you have purchased one of our products, we are now getting feedback about what great quality they are. How about this one from Linda S:

“The quality of this wicker tree skirt is outstanding and will certainly endure many Christmas’s to come. It is well-built, solid and sturdy. The whitewash effect looks fabulous – I can’t wait until Christmas so I can use it!

Delivery was prompt and the team at Kosmopolitan kept me updated every step of the way. Yes, there are cheaper versions out there but I can guarantee they will be poor imitations, you really do get what you pay for!”

Or this from Alison:

Absolutely delighted with my wicker Christmas tree 🎄 skirt’s 👍🏻 Ordered 3 different sizes with you they are very well made really good quality will definitely recommend you to all my family and friends 👍

Remember to read the instructions given about how to measure your stand so you don’t have to return it for a different size. Just be sure to allow a few centimetres for size variation and remember they are conical in shape so there is less room at the top.

We hope you all have a fantastic Christmas, with better weather than we normally have. Wouldn’t a white Christmas be great – haven’t had one in many years, but living down here in Cornwall maybe that’s not surprising!  
I love it when it gets here and I love it when it’s gone!!

Autumn

Autumn is upon us and it’s a rather reflective time, I think. We look back on the lovely summer and anticipate the unknown winter to come, stocking up for a season of quiet cosiness.

Inside the home, our instinct is to focus on comfort and warmth for winter. It’s about this time when I get out some of my fairy lights to hang around the living room to give a cosy, celebratory look!

Make sure you have plenty of logs for roaring fires on chilly evenings. We can supply you with fantastic quality log baskets in a wide range of colours, shapes and sizes including two for kindling which have lids to keep everything looking tidy. There is also a larger log store if you have plenty of room where you can show off your log stacking skills!
We do have some new additions this year so make sure you explore the full collection here

Now the weather is getting cold we can spend more time making our homes look lovely and functioning smoothly. Make sure you have an umbrella (and walking stick!) basket in your porch or hallway – we have a choice of two in our Storage section. Here you can also find different shaped baskets for keeping gloves and hats tidy on hall shelves. Basically, the more bits and pieces you can keep in baskets, the tidier a room looks.

In the garden it’s a time for cutting back dying plants and bringing in the final harvests. Our rattan trugs are a practical and pleasing way of collecting garden produce and flowers and there’s a choice of two sizes depending on the size of your plot. It’s also time for planning what to do with your wicker hanging baskets and planters; are you changing the plants for an autumn/winter display or emptying and storing them, preferably somewhere dry? I love to have pots of cyclamen around my front door at this time of year; they are such vibrant reds and pinks and make the entrance look welcoming and inviting. They last for ages too!

I also have to say that some people are already starting to think of Christmas! The Tree Skirts are beginning to sell again. Once you have one it will last you for many years, so avoid a panic and order now!!

For cat lovers …

                           … we have two new baskets specially for you!
They are both made from top quality grey rattan and are for multiple cat owners, or those with one cat that likes a choice of beds on different levels! As cat lovers ourselves we are well aware of their idiosyncratic behaviour and can’t help but try and fulfil their every wish!

This one is the two tier variety with a cosy ground level that gives your cat a cocooned safe place to retreat to when not wanting to be disturbed! The top level is open and much more public. As any cat lover knows, they like to survey the world from an elevated position to keep an eye on what’s going on. They may look asleep but you can be sure they are aware of anything that might affect their peace and comfort!

This bed comes with a free cushion on each level but you might want to substitute a more snuggly cover for maximum contentment.  I suggest an old woolly jumper!

It is beautifully made with an arched doorway and a rattan pole base and is a really solid piece of furniture.

For anyone who’s really dotty about cats we have a high-rise three tier cat bed with two enclosed spaces and an open upper deck! This comes with just one free cushion, but we think your feline friends will want you to choose a special mattress anyway, just for them. They can hunker down in the two lower levels and be really protected from unsuspected attack – I’m thinking toddlers here! If you have a little dog, they might like to give this a try too! This basket has a wide base which makes it very sturdy, so it won’t topple over when the cat jumps up.

You can get really cheap pet beds made from imported willow but you’ll find they often won’t last very long. The wicker is usually very brittle and splits easily. Our baskets are made from strong grey rattan and will last for many years to come.

To see our full range of pet beds please click here

Baskets for your garden

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.

You can now read and leave reviews!

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!

Many thanks.
Diana & Pete

Choose your Laundry Basket

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.

Clothes Baskets

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!

Other open baskets which are more individual are these really attractive round Mixed Weave Storage Basket or the Round Agel Grass Storage Basket with handles.

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.

Don’t forget that baskets are multi-purpose, so if you’re trying to fit a laundry basket into an awkward space then check out our Log Baskets or Storage Baskets sections to see if we have something different that might be just what you need. Be creative!

Wicker Moses Baskets in Legend

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.

Lovey photo of our Moses Basket in use by Little Dottie Designs

www.littledottiedesigns.com

Wicker Rocking Horse

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.


Are you prepared for winter?

Browse our extensive range of Log Baskets.

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.

Size?
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.

You may like a large basket with wheels which we sell as Round, Oblong or Tall Oblong. We also sell a wheeled Log Store which has a large capacity in which you can create pleasing displays! Many of the baskets come in a range of sizes so there are plenty to choose from, whatever your needs.

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.

Lined?
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.

Fire starter!
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.

Now you have all the information you need to find your perfect wicker log basket. Go and browse our great selection now!


French Market Shopping Baskets R Us!

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!)

But we also have some lovely new ones such as the very fashionable and chic Small Round Handbag and the Palm Satchel which looks like it’s ready to be taken on adventures!

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!  

See full range here.

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!!


Kosmopolitan Dog Beds

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.

 


Get your Tree Skirts ready – Christmas is coming!

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.

 

Christmas future… 

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.

 

Impress Santa!

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!!