What’s the process before you start basket weaving?
So, the first step is to harvest the vetiver, clean every leaf and choose the ones you want to use. Then separate them in little bundles and leave them to dry. Once dried, you need to smooth each leaf. It’s the same process for the vacoas, but that plant has thorns, so you also have to get rid of those.
And then, the weaving starts!
So, I do the base first. Then I start wrapping the weave around with the help of a sewing machine. The main material we use is the vacoas leaf, then vetiver. Then, we add fabric, glue and cardboard. We also use lace, crochet hooks and paint.
Why are your baskets special?
What I create is quite rare because I blend vetiver and vacoas leaves to make my products. People tend to weave with only the vetiver or the vacoas leaves, so a blend is more complicated. We only work with weaves that blend both plants.
These bags are very durable and you can use them for years! I also make table sets, tablecloths, handbags, jewellery cases and laundry baskets.
You need a lot of patience to do this job and you need to love what you do. Otherwise, it’s not going to work!
What advice would you give to those travelling to Mauritius?
My favourite spot on the island is the Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens. There are so many endemic plants to see and I like to learn more about them.
I would also tell our visitors to be respectful of the environment and do not bring plastic bags with you, as single-use plastic bags are banned on the island. All of our vacoas baskets are eco-friendly, so I encourage you to use one during your stay!