Materials for Rib Baskets

The most common material used in today's Rib basket is Rattan or Reed. It is harvested from the core of a thorny palm in the rain forests of Malaysia.

thorny palm

Families journey into the jungle to pull these vines out of the tree tops. They are cut into pieces and carried or dragged out of the jungle.

another thorny palm

The thorns are removed, vines debarked, and what is left is boiled in a mixture of kerosene and diesel fuel to eradicate insects. This mixture is cleaned from the sections and dried in the sun. The resulting material is sorted and processed to varying sizes. It can take the form of flat, flat oval, round, or can.

Wooden Hoops 4" to 18" diameter
Oval Hoops 3"x6" up to 12"x20"
Rectangular Hoops 6"x12" up to 8"x12"
Square Hoops 4"x4" up to 14"x14"
Flat Reed 11/64" to 1" widths
Round Reed for Ribs #00 1mm to #12 10mm
Cane Superfine to Narrow
Dyes and Stains Chose Your Favorites

There are many retailers available around the world. Below are a few know to my "Ribs 101" classmates.