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Apr 02

How in the World, Brocade Weaving

Have you ever really looked at the motifs woven into your scarf, shawl, or fabric and tried to figure out how in the world the weaver made that pattern in the cloth? Okay, maybe you haven’t. But I have because I’m intrigued by seemingly simple cloth that has patterns created→ Read more

Mar 26

Master Crafting a Sheep in Tibet

Were you born in the year of the sheep? If so, this Chinese new year rang in an auspicious year for you, one which heralds much promise and prosperity. I am a sheep-year person, so how could I not be charmed by the master craftsmanship of these Tibetan-made sheep toys?→ Read more

Mar 19

Kasuri and Indigo: Threads That Blur and Bind

Patterning in threads that blur. Indigo-and-white, naturally-dyed cloth with hand-woven designs. Cotton fabric so soft from years of wear that parts are threadbare. This kasuri yukata I wear has a story and I long to know it.→ Read more

Mar 05

Hand Knit Alpaca with Beading on a Road Less Traveled in Peru

Sometimes it pays to take the road less traveled. Such is the case when it’s the only road to the village of Huacatinco in the Ocongate region of the Cusco highlands of Peru. Here we were, five of us in a four-wheel drive pick-up truck, during rainy season, off to→ Read more

Feb 26

Power Symbols and Brocade Woven Dreams in Tenejapa, Chiapas

The last Mayan festival during January was in the village of Tenejapa, Chiapas, about 16 miles northeast of San Cristóbal. As with all the other festivals I wrote about this past month, this one was mighty unique. Instead of celebrating San Sebastián, this community celebrates the patron saint San Ildefonso→ Read more

Feb 12

Festival of San Sebastian, Chiapas

The past few posts were focused on the floral embroidery in Zinacantan. But what about the festival of San Sebastian?→ Read more

Feb 05

A Whole Village of Floral Embroidery

The Festival of San Sebastián in the village of Zinacantán, Chiapas, Mexico culminates in an explosion of fireworks and cutting-edge fashion of floral embroidery embellishing skirts, shawls, and tunics of Zinacantecs. The raising of the “jaguar” tree followed two days later by a full-blown festival provided the most colorful backdrop→ Read more

Jan 30

Textile Travel Leads to Maya Festivals

Would this description of a festival intrigue you: “Burning incense, booming fireworks, parades, horse races, singing, ritual dances and costume that ties the Maya of 1,000 years ago with the Spanish conquest and the present day.”? Add to that it takes place in textile rich Chiapas, Mexico, which says to→ Read more

Jan 08

Colorful Embroidery Radiates at Chiapas Festivals

My first visit to Zinacantán in Chiapas, Mexico was in 2011. Fast forward to my next one in a few weeks. This time, I’m better prepared for what embroidery, hand weaving and textile fashion may unfold as I’ve been reading, Maya Threads: A Woven History of Chiapas, the newly released→ Read more

Dec 18

A Peruvian Tradition Brings Joy to the Children of Weavers

A toy, a rare treat of hot chocolate mixed with oatmeal, a piece of traditional Christmas bread – these simple gifts can make the holiday joyful for children of the weavers of the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco, Peru (CTTC). Known as Chocolatada, this gifting is a Peruvian tradition.→ Read more