Basketry is a longstanding handicraft followed in most parts of Punjab. Mostly, the womenfolk in villages are oriented towards basketry as a means of employment. Initially, these baskets were predominantly used for household purposes. However, with the passage of time, they came to be adorned as a work of art and were used in homes as showpieces and decorative items.
From times immemorial, man has been inclined to weave vegetable fibers and make wicker articles. Basketry is done by shaving thin straws of grass. These straws are used to weave mats, rugs, carpets, curtains and hand fans. The hand fans are extremely popular and are known as Peshawari pakkhe. Even smaller size fans, called kunda ladar pakkhi, are available. Other products include tokris, chaj, changair,tiffin baskets, waste paper baskets and oval shaped containers, with lids.
Abundant availability of raw materials, like bamboo, cane, reeds, grasses, munj, palm leaf, date leaf, cornhusks and other items, make basketry a popular household craft. Besides, the straw commonly called as 'sarkanda’ is widely used in Punjab for basketry.
Almost all the tourist places in the state, like Amritsar, Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Patiala, have a wide collection of basketry items.