I have a future cake order for a cake with basket weave. I learned to do buttercream basket weave in a class back in the 80s. I like the stability of fondant. I looked online for ideas and some people use an impression mat with the basket weave .i have never used one .i also saw a basket weave rolling pin to use on top of the rolled fondant. Kinda worried about that because i use the wilton mat and lift and peel my fondant onto the cakes. I dont have alot of experience with fondat and wonder if using one was any eaisier than the other???? I will have to order one or the other soon. I dont have alot of time to practice.
I haven't used either either
I would think that with the basket weave pattern, you would have to do a long rectangle to stick to the vertical walls or circumference of the cake (as opposed to draping it over). So, I think you could use either to accomplish that for just a 3-6" high tier.
I've only used the small rectangular impression cards--they're not mats, but more like hard, transparent plastic 4x6 sheets; and I did not like them
I admit to never having used impression mats but from watching various cake shows on tv I would say that a mat can be used to make the impression after the fondant is on the cake where as with the roller you'd risk stretching and moving the fondant if you tried that.
Given the way you apply your fondant that's something to consider.
Sorry I fear instead of helping I've just given you more food for thought..