Seagrass grows in large, submerged meadows in clear, shallow water. In its natural habitat, seagrass slows down water currents and provides a home for many species of marine biology. As a crafting medium, seagrass is a durable, yet flexible, material that is often used to create fiber arts, furniture and other home decor accessories.
Seagrass basket weaving is based on African basket weaving techniques. African slaves on the coast of South Carolina used seagrass to make circular baskets called fanners that helped them winnow rice. These utilitarian baskets have evolved into today's decorative, bright and colorful seagrass baskets. Baskets made from seagrass are softer and more flexible than baskets made from other types of materials. Modern seagrass baskets may be woven into similar circular shapes, but they may also be made by weaving seagrass between hard ribs that form a more structured basket shape. Seagrass is available in rolls from basket weaving suppliers.
Seagrass furniture is made using a weaving technique that binds the seagrass in a tight and strong formation. Sofas, chairs, dining sets, headboards, dressers and occasional tables are some of the types of furniture that skilled crafters can make with seagrass. Home crafters can use seagrass to make cushions and chair seats for existing furniture.
Seagrass is a popular natural material for weaving rugs and mats. Seagrass is durable, inexpensive and flexible. Rugs made from seagrass are naturally flea-resistant, making them a good choice for households with pets. Seagrass is susceptible to mold and mildew in a moisture-rich environment. Weaving techniques and patterns for seagrass rugs include arrowhead and basketweave. Seagrass has a natural odor that resembles hay; it may take several weeks or months for the natural seagrass odor to dissipate in your home.
Seagrass is also used to make other types of decorative accessories. Lampshades and room dividers are crafted with the same woven technique used to make rugs, baskets and furniture. Dried seagrass is pale green and complements bright flowers in floral arrangements. You can also use dried seagrass to decorate picture frames, mirrors, planters, table runners, wreaths and a variety of other home decor items. Look for dried seagrass in craft stores and from online retailers.