Author Archive

Mar 15

Guatemalan Basket Makers Triumph

Two years ago, I wrote this blog about our visit with the Guatemalan basket makers at the Mayan Hands field office in Panajachel. Every time ClothRoads receives a shipment of baskets, we marvel at the ingenuity and skill of the women who make them. We’ve followed along with their updates→ Read more

Mar 08

Meet an Indian Woman Bandhani Artisan

Most bandhani artisans in Kutch-Gujurat, India, are men who come from the Khatri lineage—they create the designs and dye, and the women tie the fine dot, resist-dyed patterns. Zakiya Adil Khatri is changing that. From childhood on, Zakiya was deeply interested in handicrafts and knew she wanted to make a→ Read more

Feb 15

Kandahar Treasure: Afghan Women Embroidering a Future

As one khamak embroidery stitch builds upon another, so too does the narrative of each woman’s life touched by the work of Kandahar Treasure and its founder Rangina Hamidi. Rangina and Mary Littrell, co-authors of Embroidering within Boundaries: Afghan Women Creating a Future, captured the stories of the Afghan Pashtun→ Read more

Jan 18

Secrets to Andean Knit Bobble Hats

Run your hands across the surface of this Peruvian knit alpaca hat covered by a thousand small, colorful bobble or popcorn stitches. This textured stitch is one of the most distinctive and most asked about Andean knit techniques called q’urpu. Traditionally knit for babies and children by the women, men,→ Read more

Dec 14

Tinkuy, A Gathering of the Textile Arts in Peru

Last month, over 800 weavers, spinners, knitters, textile enthusiasts, and scholars attended Tinkuy, the third international gathering of textile artisans in Cusco, Peru. And what a gathering it was. Artisans came from near and far, from North to South America, from Europe to the Far East. The Center for Traditional→ Read more

Dec 07

ClothRoads Wish List—New Textile Books of 2017

A former publishing colleague and maker friend assured me that books–print on paper books–are making a comeback, that digital just doesn’t deliver our tactile need. I ask you, how can a textile book ever be anything but print on paper? A textile book has to be held in the hand→ Read more

Oct 26

Learning Handspinning High in the Andes

In a few weeks, I will be sitting with a group of Peruvian hand spinners at Tinkuy, A Gathering of the Textile Arts in Cusco, Peru, attempting once again to learn the traditional ways of Andean spinning. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve watched these women spin and did→ Read more

Oct 12

Meet Master Weaver Dayalal Kudecha

What makes someone a master weaver? In the old guild system, one had to be an apprentice and then a journeyman working under a master. Once becoming a master, the cycle repeated. I recently watched master weaver Dayalal Kudecha work. His hands instinctively knew what to do as he spoke→ Read more

Sep 21

A Shepherdess from Ladakh

It’s rare for the ClothRoads blog to offer up a film review. Even rarer is that we’re hosting an all-day film festival focused on celebrating textiles from around the world— a focus on the rich colors, earthy textures, and deep traditions of handmade artisan textiles and the people who create→ Read more

Sep 14

Tie Dye Resist Indian Style

Of all artisan-made cloth, the tie-dye resist of Indian bandhani stumps most people. It’s a technique of creating patterns in cloth by tying small, continuous knots before it’s dyed. The areas where the knots are tied don’t allow the dye to penetrate, leaving these areas the color of the original→ Read more