The lowland areas of eastern and southern Scotland were particularly fertile and suited to agriculture. Baskets used in these regions were less diverse or specialised than in the fishing industry. The most common use of baskets was for lifting potatoes, and such baskets were commonly known as \'tattie sculls\'. Fruit growing was also important, and there was a range of fruit baskets. Straw bee skeps were also common, as were fishing baskets for river fishing, and other sporting baskets such as curling stone covers. There was a saying, \'Never mix fish and farm\', and it certainly seemed to be the case that coastal farming families rarely fished, and vice versa.

Woven split wood basketry

Spale basket side-view, Hope MacDougall Collection

This basket has a huge variety of names. These include tatty baskets , tatty swales, oak swales, oak spales, spale-oak, scuttle, slop, skelk, wisket, spelk, swill, skep, skulls or sculls. It seems that some were made in Scotland but mainly they were made in the Lakes in the …Continue reading “Woven split wood basketry”

Changing fruit baskets

A visit to this year’s Vintage Agricultural Machinery Rally at Strathmiglo brought some unexpected information about fruit baskets. The theme of this year’s Vintage Rally (always chosen to highlight methods of food production), was fruit, which still plays an important …Continue reading “Changing fruit baskets”

What we know about Curling Stone Baskets

The first recording of curling in Scotland is from 1541. At this time the players used natural stones which had a handle attached. Over time this developed into a highly crafted stone with a top and bottom polished differently to …Continue reading “What we know about Curling Stone Baskets”

Machine-made lath baskets at the Crownpoint Box Factory

A factory manufacturing poplar ‘chip’ baskets from 1890s – 1970s.Continue reading “Machine-made lath baskets at the Crownpoint Box Factory”