Baskets are beautiful. I miss sprouting in baskets. They were simple and sublime. I first invented the basket sprouter back in 1977, and I sprouted in them for over 20 years. I used to order 24,000 baskets at a time and they were custom made to my specifications. However, in 1996, I discontinued ordering baskets because their manufacture in China had become fraught with insurmountable problems.
Don’t forget, these are hand crafted items. They are made one at a time and as such, there were numerous “quality control” issues. We were forced to examine every shipment, basket by basket…oy! that’s 24,000 checks! We discovered (at great expense) that 3-4 out of every 10 baskets had too many large spaces between the weaves and too many sprouting seeds would fall through the cracks. Customers complained and no matter how many times we tried, we could not get the consistency we needed. If that was not bad enough, the quality of manufacture had also deteriorated and many baskets started to unravel after a few uses. Then there was the issue of fumigants. More and more shipments were gassed and it became too difficult to circumvent this practice. After years of frustration, and losses of thousands of baskets, it became economically unfeasible to continue importing baskets for sprouting.
If you still want to use baskets for sprouting, you can. You can find them at most Asian food and Oriental supply stores. Or look in oriental furniture and gift stores. Try to obtain bamboo baskets that are free of shellac. Look for bamboo with a bread basket style weave.