The Inventory Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in the Netherlands contains ICH of which the communities, groups or individuals involved have written a safeguarding plan. Those plans are reviewed by an independent review committee. Every two years an evaluation of the safeguarding takes place.


The basketry craft is a construction technique in which the maker produces basketry with both hands and only a few tools, using age old techniques. The craft is still directed at producing home accessories and useful objects, like baskets, but luxury products or artwork are made as well. Basketry, is done with wicker, rushes, straw, various grass varieties, blackberry twigs and other flexible twigs from the Netherlands. Others use rattan, material that initially came to the Netherlands from The Dutch East Indies as ballast. There is a variety of weaving techniques, sometimes adapted to the material. The three main techniques are 1. stakes and weavers technique (comparable to weaving), 2. Plaiting technique (spacial forms are made of flat wickerwork), 3. binding technique (wrapping material that does not look very nice in good-looking material). The craft comprises – besides the regular making of useful basketry objects – wicker cultivation and processing: drying, soaking and if necessary: splitting and planing.



The basketry community consists of hobbyists and professionals who are interested in the craft and the traditional techniques. Consumers are interested in basketry as useful objects and often also because it relates to a tradition. The Vereniging van Vlechters (The Basketry Society, 2004) has around 250 members. Many members are involved in passing the craft on to the next generation. They give courses and demonstrations.



The basketry technique must be very old. In 1978 a basketry fish fyke was dug up that dates back to approximately 4300 BC, in Bergschenhoek. The Girl from Yde, a mummy in the Drenthe Museum, must have been strangled around the beginning of the common era, with the braided band around her neck. Halfway the nineteenth century wickerwork had become an important home industry. Because of a shortage of wicker, other materials were chosen, like rattan. By the end of the nineteenth century wicker furniture making workshops emerged, around Noordwolde in particular. Dignitaries from Noordwolde began to research into better basketry techniques. On their initiative the State Basketry School was opened in 1908. In the sixties the school had to be cancelled due to lack of pupils. On April 28th 2001 the National Basketry Museum opened its doors in the former school building. A principal task of the museum is to safeguard basketry as a craft.  As of 2003 the Knowledge Centre Basketry is an important part of the museum. Among other things, it organises the National Basketry Days every few years. During the last century the professional basketry maker almost completely vanished into thin air. Some (professional) basketry makers started applying new techniques and making totally new products, in cooperation with designers and artists. Coffin baskets, for instance, are made nowadays. In recent years there has been much attention for the sustainable character of the craft.



Vereniging van Vlechters
Molenweg 54
6871 XC