As you can see from this photo it is the handles that take the strain. A year or so ago they started to fray and in an attempt to repair them I sewed some vintage fabric around where they had frayed. This worked brilliantly and I even got some positive comments occasionally about the handles, from people who thought that I'd bought it like that.
It was starting to look a bit worse for wear again, one handle cover remained loosely in place, but the fabric had worn through and the other handle cover had dropped off. I had had it on my mental to do list for ages now, I can't even remember how long, but last night I decided to just get on and do it as I do really like this basket. The bottom of it is still sound I want to make it last as long as I possibly can. Here's a picture of the bottom which I think is miraculously intact considering how much wear it has had. It is obviously very well made.
Anyway, I taped the frayed handles with selotape to stop them continuing to fray and I found another bit of vintage fabric, not quite as good a match as previously used, but one I like nevertheless and was glad to find a use for. It only took a small square which I cut in half and then folded in the ends and edges before wrapping it around the handles and pinning it in place on the handles.
A bit of stitching with a strong thread and hey presto!
My favourite basket was almost as good as new and ready to go again. I was very happy with it. I do love to eek out as much use as I can from my favourite things, don't you?