Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The name of the material used for weaving the baskets is Veta Vera, also known as Elephant grass.

It is grown in the tropical parts of Ghana and is brought to Bolgatanga for weaving. It regrows quickly and is a fast growing crop. It is only used in Ghana for weaving, but grows across tropical West Africa and is used for other purposes.

No. Although our baskets are not waterproof per se, they cannot be damaged by water. When our baskets arrive into the UK from Ghana, they are squashed and flattened so that they take up the least room possible.

In order to get them back to their original shape, they must be sprayed or soaked with water, and pushed and shaped into their original form. This can be done numerous times without causing any adverse effects. However, like any natural material, if your basket is not dried thoroughly, or kept in a damp environment, it may degrade. We therefore recommend that you keep your basket in a dry, well aired environment.

The majority of dyes used are natural. Fruit, leaves and bark of plants among others, are used to dye the straws. The material used to dye the straw is put in a cooking pot together with the water and allowed to boil until the desired colour is achieved. The dyed grass is then removed from the pot and allowed to dry.

Most of our baskets’ designs are one of a kind.  We really want the weavers we work with to be able to express their own creativity through their weaving. However, if a basket that we have more than one of sells particularly well, we may regularly keep it in stock.  If there is a particular design you would like, the minimum order quantity is 5 and these would need to be made specifically at your request. If this is something you are interested in, please contact us at info@africancreations.org

It is very likely that your basket will be nicely shaped when it arrives. However, if your bolga basket arrives misshapen, do not worry. This is not at all a problem, as you can easily be sort it out.

These are the steps that you need to take to perfectly reshape your basket.

  1. Take your basket either outside or put it in the shower or bath and either use the showerhead, or pour a jug of water over the whole basket, soaking the elephant grass. Alternatively, you could use a hosepipe or watering can outside.
  2. Now leave it to soak in for around 10 minutes.
  3. It will now be much softer and malleable. You now need to reshape the basket using your palm on the inside to push it into shape and keep a hand on the outside. The basket will very quickly come back to its normal shape and you can actually change the shape slightly if you would like to.
  4. Now just leave it to dry. If you can hang it up, the bottom will dry out more quickly, but it doesn’t take more than a few hours to dry anyway.

Yes, please avoid exposing your basket to long periods of direct sunlight, as colours may fade.

One of our team members: Iddris, is a Ghanaian. Originally from the Upper West of Ghana. Ruth met Iddris upon visiting Ghana in 2014 and are now married. Alison is Ruth’s mum.

The weavers, African Creations and our customers.

Most of our one-of-a-kind designs have been created by the weavers themselves. Therefore weaving is not only a technique in itself, but also highly creative.

We have also developed an understanding of which designs are most sought after by our customers, and have therefore requested these specific designs.

Lastly, some customers who have requested custom orders have specified specific sets of colours which we have then gone onto duplicate in some instances.

The leather on our baskets is sourced from local tanneries, who source their skin from local abattoirs. All of the leather is a by-product rather than being reared for the skin alone. Most of the dyes used to dye the leather come from natural sources.

Our baskets are used for a huge variety of purposes. Some people like to store yarn and wool, alongside other craft making equipment. Others like to use their baskets for laundry, logs, fruit & veg, and toys, to name a few.

We gladly accept returns.

Just contact us within 7 days of delivery and post items back within 30 days of delivery.

We don’t accept exchanges or cancellations, but please contact us if you have any problems with your order.

The following items can’t be returned or exchanged:

  • Custom or personalised orders

Conditions of Return

Buyers are responsible for return postage costs. If the item is not returned in its original condition, the buyer is responsible for any loss in value.

Weavers are paid per basket and some styles of baskets are worth more than others due to their complexity. We pay the weavers 15-40% more than they would be paid at local markets.

No but we are currently working towards the BAFTS Fairtrade Network UK.

We have plans to visit the weavers in May 2024!

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