Basket -making

Basket makers, working mainly in willow, have traditionaly used the billhook for harvesting the willow, and a smaller one for trimming the ends of the osiers. Today most harvesting is by machine, and secateurs are used for the trimming.


There is an excellent video of a basket maker in Picardie, France using both types here:

I've not managed to find many illustrations of English tools, although on a visit to the Perry Brothers cider factory in Somerset some 30+ years ago, I saw some sickle shaped hooks sharpened on the outside curve that were used locally, sadly no camera to hand, and I've never been back there...

This cranked hook from Holland is similar to that used in the video (above) - a wide flared blade (minus its handle)

This type, known as a risjhaak is also common in Holland - the position of the handle means the user has to bend over less...

This one from Holland, known as an oogstkapmes is typical of those used from northern France through Belgium into Holland..

(right) Another shape of oogstkapmes...

(left) Dutch basket maker's hooks..

This serpillon de vannier is French - also known as a serpe à osier..

Anothe French serpe à osier, also known as a serpe à joncs (used for cutting reed or rushes for basket making, chair seating and thatching)

(right) Another French serpe à joncs..

(left) This serpe or fauchet de vannier is from the Gironde region of France..

This pair of bent hooks by William Swift may have been used in Kent for harvesting willow for basket making, or cutting hazel in coppice work..

(left) This slightly cranked hook came from Norfolk..