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Brocade design being woven on backstrap loom. Photo credit Conozcamos Guatemala.

Apr 21

ProTeje, For The Weavers of Guatemala

Born from a desire to preserve the Guatemalan history of the backstrap weaving culture of indigenous women, five women volunteers of the Ixchel Museum of Indigenous Dress launched ProTeje (for the weavers) in 1994. Starting with only two women weavers, this project has grown immensely over twenty-three years, now supporting 300→ Read more
Natural Dye 101: Indigo

Apr 14

Natural Dye 101: Indigo

Would you like to explore the world of the natural dye indigo right now? What about events right here in the U.S.? ClothRoads brings all this to you and more.→ Read more
This is a sample of the bleeding jaspe before washing. The white and dark patterns are feathery and clear in coloring.

Apr 07

Jaspe: A Guatemalan Resist-Dyed Handwoven Cloth

Guatemalan resist-dyed fabric called jaspe should never be taken for granted. Yet I undervalued this handwoven cloth for many years until a recent visit to the homeland of jaspe in Salcajá, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.→ Read more
Hemp fibers ready to weave.

Mar 24

Hemp: An Ancient Fiber for a Sustainable Future

Hemp is an ancient plant that protects the environment and provides fiber for soft durable fabric. A fiber from the Cannibis plant,  it is believed to be one of the oldest domesticated crops. It builds soil, resists insects and requires a minimum of water. Anthropologists maintain that throughout history, hemp→ Read more
Wild grass is coiled and stitched with raffia.

Mar 17

Guatemalan Basket Makers Triumph

How is it, that in a country of a half-million hand weavers, that during our recent ClothRoads textile travel to Guatemala we planned a visit with basket makers? Many of us textile artisans readily include basket making techniques and their traditions in our fiber lexicon. Plus after a week of→ Read more
Lola Sapalú embroiders a new huipil, covering it with fanciful birds.

Mar 10

The Colors of Guatemalan Textiles

ClothRoads just returned from our first textile travel to the Guatemalan Highlands. Deborah Chandler and Teresa Cordón, authors of Traditional Weavers of Guatemala, crafted this colorful journey for us. They opened up their world of weaving (both foot-pedal and backstrap), spinning, jaspe dyeing, embroidery, and basketry, as well as translated the→ Read more
Detail of batik indigo-dyed hemp.

Feb 18

A Wax-Resist, Indigo Hemp Cloth: A Tradition in Laos

When I first spotted Ms. Mai Suxiong, the oldest practicing Blue Hmong batik artist in Luang Prabang, Laos, she was dressed in a simple sarong and carried a roll of handwoven hemp cloth. She gently stepped down the stone-covered path toward a covered hut along the Mekong River, ready to→ Read more
Donna Hardy surrounded with indigo-dyed products from the Sea Island indigo.  Photo credit: Ruta Elvikyte, courtesy of charlestonmag.com/features/the_indigo_girl.

Feb 11

Sea Island Indigo: Creating an American Indigo Culture

Donna Hardy has big plans–she’s in the midst of building a new North American indigo culture based on the same natural dye indigo plants that grew in the Southeastern United States Lowcountry area more than 250 years ago.→ Read more
BonieJoShupe copy

Jan 21

A Peruvian Weaving Collaboration Produces Stunning Textiles

Two years ago, Colorado designer Bonie Shupe spent a three-month internship with the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco in the Peruvian Highlands. She had graduated from the design and apparel program at Colorado State University and interned at ClothRoads. The CTTC internship provided an opportunity to pursue her dream→ Read more
Purpura-dyed cotton yarn.

Jan 14

The Ancient Art of Natural Dye Purple

Thousands of tiny snails were sacrificed to make the royal purple of ancient times. Owning a cloth handwoven and colored with this natural dye was a symbol of high status—the power and wealth of royalty and the church.→ Read more

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