Word on Wicker: Types of Wicker Basket Materials

Word on Wicker: Types of Wicker Basket Materials

Published by Erica Pennyfeather on 2nd May 2023

Wicker is to baskets what wood it to trunks, yet no basket looks the same. You may look at the different types of baskets and wonder, is there a difference between willow and wicker? And what makes all the difference between a water hyacinth basket and a seagrass basket?

While all wicker baskets are made using the same technique of weaving or braiding, the materials used can greatly impact the final product. For example, a water hyacinth basket and a seagrass basket may look similar at first glance, but the water hyacinth is a thicker and more durable material than seagrass, which means the finished basket will be sturdier and able to hold heavier items. Similarly, a basket made from bamboo will have a different texture and appearance than one made from rattan, despite both being considered wicker materials.


People often ask, is willow the same as wicker? And that's because willow is the most commonly used raw material used to make wicker baskets. It's easy to identify, as it looks like thin twigs. Willow wicker is very strong and durable, so a quality willow basket will last you for years to come.


Commonly used for woven furniture, rattan is wicker material known for its strength, flexibility, and lightweight nature, making it a popular choice for weaving into intricate designs. Rattan wicker material is both eco-friendly and sustainable, as rattan is a fast-growing plant that requires minimal resources to cultivate. 


Seagrass wicker is thin and flexible, and forms a tight weave. Its highly durable, and creates a rustic beach-cottage feel. It's most commonly used in woven shelf baskets, storage baskets, and home decor accessories.  

Water Hyacinth

Water Hyacinth wicker is is made by braiding ropes of golden colored hyacinth reeds, and then weaving them together. Its unique thick weave forms a decorative textured appearance.


Woodchip Wicker is woven from thin wood strips, resulting in a pretty, neat texture. Its sometimes painted in other colors, and is usually used in decorative accent baskets or picnic baskets.

Banana Leaf

Banana leaves are large and flexible, which makes it a perfect fit for wicker. Its first braided into a rope and then woven over a wire frame, and adds a tropical feel to wherever you place it.

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Maize Wicker is woven from the leaves or stalks of the corn plant. It features a rustic appearance, and is often dyed in different colors.

Overall, wicker baskets are highly versatile and can be used for a range of purposes, from storing household items to serving as decorative pieces in a room. Understanding the different types of wicker materials and how they are used can help you choose the right basket for your needs and ensure that you are getting a product that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.