Hampers, panniers, bread baskets, linen baskets, shopping baskets, etc., have become decorative items in businesses and homes, rather than being used for the purpose intended by the craftsmen and women who make them, cistellers or sargaires in Catalan. In fact there are very few basket makers here these days and their mission is to put all their knowledge at the noble service of keeping their trade alive in the face of competition from cheap, mass-producted products from Asian countries, very skilled at producing these craft products.
It was a very widespread trade until only a few decades ago, when plastic spread and replaced their pretty panniers and baskets with impersonal objects that did the job. In just a few years they relegated these poor, traditional baskets to a secondary role, if they do not end up in the attic.
The real beauty of this trade is it is carried out entirely behind. There is no mechanical support and only very rudimentary tools are used. It is the craftsman's hands, with their precise, repetitive movements and a lot of technique, that gradually weave and give the basket the right shape for its intended purpose.
Today, basket weaving has also stirred the interest of people who have discovered a leisure activity in braiding wicker and fashioning baskets that lets them develop their creative talents.