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May 22

Shibori aka Tie-and-Dye

Last year, ikat was the big trend in fabric. This year, it’s shibori. The fashion world has adopted the name shibori to apply to any number of shaped-resist patterns. But shibori is a Japanese word encompassing various types of shaped resists created through the manipulation of fabric. Many textile-producing cultures→ Read more

May 15

An Indigo Blue Day

When packing for the recent Weave a Real Peace (WARP) conference, I realized that my bag was loaded with indigo-dyed or indigo-colored clothes. It reminded me of my navy grade-school uniform. And, as uniforms go, I felt reassured knowing that no matter what I wore, I would be coordinated in→ Read more

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→ Read more

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→ Read more

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→ Read more

Apr 17

The Beauty and the Bead in Mexico

So far on our Mexican journey, our days have been spent with spinners and weavers, mother-earth types, workers of the land–their bodies showing signs of their routine activities of backstrap weaving, picking cotton, tortilla making. But today this changes for we meet “The Beading Beauties”—at least that’s what I call→ Read more

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→ Read more

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→ Read more

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→ Read more

Mar 20

Meet the Makers of the Traditional Oaxacan Hand Spindle

Antonio and Maria, Oaxacan hand spindle makers.→ Read more

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