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Last updated 13/2/2024


The Woven Heart / Braided Heart and the Woven Heart Basket
This page is being used to collect information about the history of the paperfolding designs known as the Woven Heart / Braided Heart and the Woven Heart Basket. Please contact me if you know any of this information is incorrect or if you have any other information that should be added. Thank you.

This design is clearly connected to the Froebelian Occupation of Flechten or Weaving but the exact nature of the connection is not clear.


The Woven Heart


This Woven Heart is in the collection of Museum Odense in Denmark. It is said to date from c1950 and to have been folded by Hans-Christian Andersen, who is also popularly credited as its originator, as a decoration for the Christmas Tree of his friends the Orsted family. There is, however, no documentary evidence to substantiate this date, and a wide variety of other dates are given in the literature.



According to Wikipedia, 'The oldest known guide to making pleated Christmas hearts is found in an 1871 edition of the Danish journal 'Nordisk Husflidstidende''. I have not been able to verify this assertion.



Various sources claim that there is an example of a Woven Heart dating from 1873 in the collection of the National Museum of Norway. I have not been able to verify this assertion.



According to Wikipedia, 'The oldest depiction of a Christmas tree decorated with pleated hearts dates from 1901 from the Danish manor house 'Søllestedgaard'. I have not been able to verify this assertion.



The Woven Heart design appears in 'Häusliche Kleinkunst und Bastelarbeit in Wort und Bild' by Hermann Pfeiffer, which was published by Verlag von Hermann Zieger in Leipzig in 1911.


The Woven Heart Basket


This design appears as 'Panier' in 'Mes Jolie Jeux' by Henriette Suzanne Bres, which was published by Librairie Hachette in Paris in 1900, although the illustration does not seem to show an openable basket.



A description, but no illustrations, of how to make the Woven Heart Basket, under the title 'May Baskets', initially made without rounding off the corners to create the heart shape, appeared in 'Studies in Invalid Occupation' by Susan E Tracy,which was published by Whitcomb and Barrows in Boston in 1910.



The Woven Heart Basket appears as 'Rupert's Paper Party Hat or Bag' in the 1979 Rupert Annual.