Traditional fibers used in basketry reflect the local habitat. They include illala palm, sisal leaves and fiber, raffia (African bamboo), fibrous tree and plant roots such as makenge, vines, leaves (banana and fan palm), cane, bark wood and papyrus.
Two types of vegetative fiber are normally used to make a coiled basket, one for the inner coil and one for the wrapping of the coils. For example, in Uganda and Rwanda, baskets are woven from raffia or papyrus wrapped and stitched around a coil of banana leaf stems. Grass is often used for the core of the coils.