Textile workshop @ home: rope basket part 2

During the Textile workshop ‘rope basket’, Steve Cromsigt explains a technique for making a two- or three-dimensional shape by sewing a cotton cord together in a spiral shape. In this extension of her first workshop, she explains various ways to give your design even more character.

Creating handles

When you make a bag or basket with the basic technique explained in part 1 of the Rope basket workshop, you can choose different types of handles. In part 1, we show a handle with a length of your choice. In part 2 of the workshop, Steve shows some alternatives.

Hidden handle
You can choose to make a handle that blends completely into the shape of your basket or bag, so you hardly see it. To create this, make sure the rope follows the shape of your design precisely. Stop sewing for a bit, follow the rope to the point where the handle should end, continue to sew the rope to your design at this point. If you want a handle that consists of multiple layers of rope, you just continue your job sewing the rope in the desired shape.

Loop handle
Another option is to make a loop as a handle. In this way, you can hang your work anywhere and at the same time, you conceal the end of the rope nicely. At the end of your work, cut the rope diagonally, leaving enough rope to make a loop. Do you use twisted rope? Then cut in the direction of the rope. Make a loop inward, with the end of the rope in between the loop and your work. Then sew over this a few times until it is well secured.

Label
If you don’t want to create a handle, there are other ways to ‘hide’ the end of the rope in your design. Fold a piece of fabric or leather over the end of the rope and sew it to your design, just like a label.

Creating patterns with fabric or thread

As we showed in part 1 of the workshop, you can play with colours in your design, by using rope in different colours or sewing with different coloured threads. Another option is to wrap your rope with strips of fabric or thread. This way you add playful accents to your design.

Wrap with fabric
Take a strip of fabric and attach it to your rope with a pin. Wrap the fabric around your rope and pin the end of the fabric to the rope. Then sew the fabric wrapped rope into your design.

Wrap with thread
It is also possible to create colourful statements by wrapping your rope with thread (for example embroidery thread). This is done as follows: cut a piece of thread, make a loop on top of your rope and leave a longer bit of thread on one side. Then wrap the thread around the rope. When you have reached the loop with wrapping, put the thread through the loop and pull the left and right end of the thread apart. You will see that the loop gets smaller and takes your thread into the thread wrapped area. When the thread is pulled in a bit, you can cut it off on both sides. Then sew the thread-wrapped rope into your design.

Create a pattern with paint

Another way to add colour to your work is to use paint. You can think of all sorts of ways to do this. Consider, for example, dyeing your rope before sewing it into a shape. You can paint the rope completely, just partly or in a pattern to create different effects. If you want to make sleek shapes or patterns, it is better to dye your work after sewing. For example, dip your work in a dye bath or paint it by hand.

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