The Art of Designing a Nantucket Basket

The beauty is in the details. That is undoubtedly true for authentic Nantucket baskets. Discover the art of basket weaving and its rich history Nantucket’s shores during your next vacation. What looks like a simple basket on the outside holds so much to be desired on the inside. Whether you’re visiting the Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum or purchasing a basket of your own, there is much to learn about one of the island’s most treasured pastimes.

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Everything You Need to Know About Nantucket Baskets

Pick up your piece of Nantucket history during your next visit to the Grey Lady. Nantucket baskets have been apart of the island since its whaling debut and continue to be a staple. Learn more below, and don’t forget to snag your basket during your next visit!

  • About

Nantucket baskets represent not only the durability that symbolizes the island, but they are also an essential piece of American history. Baskets are crafted from rattan, or cane, with a solid wooden base and structured sides. 

Throughout the years, the baskets have been used to adorn bicycles, carry to the market, and decorate the sea-worn Nantucket cottages. Baskets are often passed down through generations to keep the rich Nantucket culture alive and well.

  • History

Native Americans began weaving splint farm baskets on Nantucket in the early 1800s. When the settlers arrived throughout the 1840s, they realized the practical use of these baskets and created a mold to make their own. The men who manned the lightships were designated as the basket weavers, and so deemed the name Nantucket Lightship Baskets.

In 1948, Jose F. Reyes came up with the idea to attach a hard lid to the top of the baskets creating the most popular handbag-like baskets we see today. Learn more about the history of Nantucket baskets when you visit the Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum during your next trip!

  • Where to Purchase a Basket

If you’re on the island, there are a few options for purchasing an authentic Nantucket basket. Michael Kane Lightship Baskets offers intricate baskets and rattan-made jewelry items. The Basket Shop specializes in custom-made orders, repairs, and even classes teaching the fine art of basket weaving. Nantucket Basket Works of Cape Cod is located on the mainland in Sandwich, MA, and offers a wide variety of baskets. 

Your Home on the Cobblestone at Greydon House

Rooms-Federal Suite - DeskStay in the heart of Downtown Nantucket during your next visit. Greydon House, situated just off Broad Street, is centrally located next to Nantucket’s best museums, theaters, and restaurants. Book your stay in The Federal Suite and enjoy a residential-style entrance, plush queen-size bed, stylish furnishings by Roman and Williams, and five-star service.

Once you’ve picked out the perfect basket, it’s time to fill it with all of Nantucket’s best shopping. Stroll down Main Street and through the Downtown district for the ultimate retail therapy. We can’t wait to welcome you to Nantucket!