Starts and finishes
Historically, within a culture, a certain kind of basket is started in a characteristic
way, and variations in basket starts carry cultural information. Pomo weavers
use seven different starts in their coiled work and at least ten in their twined
ware. Makah basket-makers start their baskets with a plaited base, but then twine
the basket’s sides. Square and rectangular plaited baskets are usually begun
with a checker- or twill-plaited base. Round plaited baskets are usually begun
with a radial start where the warps are laid down like the spokes of a wheel,
though that may be the only design elements they share. Starts are bound to tradition
and how other weavers in the tribe begin their baskets, rather than to economy
of form or materials.
Finishes are more varied, and often the finish begins well before the last row
or two of stitches. It may be a wide band, where the weave or pattern changes.
It may be a few rows of solid color, or of ticking or alternating colors. Finishes
fit the intended use of a basket—those made for hard work have sturdy, reinforced
rims and finishes, while baskets made for sale or display can have more fanciful
decorative finishes. The type, color, and technique of finishes can also be culturally
appropriate, such as the extra row of wrapping applied to Choctaw baskets or the
solid black binding of White Mountain Apache baskets.