Archive for the ‘Weaving’ Category

The men from Sallac knitting traditional hats. Note that they are also wearing knitted vests.

Jun 12

Men at Work: Knitting and Weaving in Peru

It’s impressive watching the skillful hands of the Peruvian Highland men as they knit away on colorful hats, working the bicycle-spoke-sized knitting needles, tossing colored yarns to and fro, and nary a written pattern in sight. Or weaving the finely patterned cloth stretched out on a backstrap loom, their fingers quickly picking patterns, and beating […]

Abdul Jabbar Mohammed Khatri (left) stands next to his son. He and other family are traditional Ajrakh block printers.

Jun 05

All in the Family: Indian Male Textile Artisans

When we launched ClothRoads, our focus was to support women weaving cooperatives. And we do, mostly. But as we traveled the globe and met more artisans, it didn’t take long to realize the scope had to be expanded to include male artisans too. It became ever more apparent in India—a country rich with textile traditions. […]

Florentina's sister, Proferina, is wearing her traditional brocaded cotton huipil.

May 08

The People of the Loom, an Amuzgo Village in Guerrero, Mexico

Talk about a long-awaited day—we were about to see the finest backstrap-loom-woven brocade textiles produced in Mexico. We were also nearing the end of our fiber tour of coastal Oaxaca, traveling a tad into Guerrero and into the region where the Amuzgo people live, to the town of Xochistlahuaca, which translates “People of the Loom”. […]

Amalia Gue and her daughter Martita.

Apr 30

One Strong Woman Heads Weaving Coop in Guatemala

Drive northwest from Cobán in the Altaverapaz region of Guatemala, up impossibly steep and winding roads, through stands of coffee and banana trees and lush semi-tropical foliage. Pass the agricultural cooperative community of Samac, and keep going up. Eventually you come to a wide spot in the road with a narrow path leading downward to […]

Habacuc with his pointed stick and partially oxidized skein of cotton.

Apr 24

The Color Purple–Purpura Shell Dyeing in Oaxaca

Gone are the days when hundreds of Mixtec men scrambled over the rocky Oaxacan shoreline north of Huatulco to extract the milky liquid from the purpura patula, a marine mollusk. But thankfully to the persistence of a few people, the tradition of shellfish dyeing has survived, for these large mollusks yield the essential rich purple […]

All carving is done free hand.

Apr 10

The Son of a Shellfish Dyer Carves Gourds

There’s a point during traveling, especially in a land where customs, language, and terrain are different than one’s home, when the “home” life slips into the far recesses of the mind and the present envelopes you. This usually happens to me about 4-5 days into a trip. Today was that day. We left the coastal […]

The San Juan Colorado women cleaning brown cotton (coyuche) in preparation for spinning and weaving.

Apr 03

A Day of Brown Cotton Spinning with a San Juan Colorado Cooperative in Oaxaca

Moments before we arrived at this San Juan Colorado weaving cooperative, the wrapped skirts (pozahuancos) were the only clothes the women were wearing. Normally bare-chested when working together, they donned their handwoven tops just for us. The pozahuancos are worn by the Mixtec women along the Oaxacan coast. The traditional ones are hand woven of […]

Feliza spinning brown cotton using the traditional handspindle and gourd bowl.

Mar 27

Handspinning and Weaving Brown Cotton in Coastal Oaxaca

In Puerto Escondido, we had encountered white cotton growing on vines, snaking its way up the fence, ready for picking and spinning. But upon arriving in Huazolotitlan and meeting the sisters Feliza and Paula, our education on growing,  spinning and weaving of brown cotton (coyuche) ramped up many notches. These sisters are the only two […]

Antonio and Maria, Oaxacan hand spindle makers.

Mar 20

Meet the Makers of the Traditional Oaxacan Hand Spindle

Last month, ClothRoads traveled the Oaxacan coast of Mexico on an off-the-beaten-path fiber tour with Eric Mindling of Traditions Mexico. We did indeed escape the arctic blasts at home and welcomed the warm Pacific Ocean waters. But better yet, we met Mixtec hand spindle makers, and weavers who cultivate brown cotton, clean it, beat it, […]

Jacquard woven shibori, naturally dyed with indigo, weld and chlorophyl.

Mar 06

Going Green with Natural Dyes and Shibori

With spring approaching, my thoughts turn to “green” and what that word means to me as a woven shibori expert and natural dyer. The Range of Greens From a technical perspective, the natural dyeing of green requires two different steps: attaining a yellow dye from a plant followed by dyeing in an indigo vat. There is […]

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