Newly woven fabrics are integral to the Guatemalan people because it creates a sustainable form of income for artisans. We work directly with a supplier who sources these new fabrics for us.
Thank you for helping us keep this beautiful art form alive, and supporting the well-being of the Guatemalan artisans.
The Backstrap Loom
Backstrap looming dates back to the ancient Mayans and has been passed down through generations and generations of Guatemalans. This style of looming creates beautifully vibrant colored textiles that are used to make huipiles. The weaver starts with raw cotton, which they clean, dye and spin into thread. The thread is then made into a warp which is placed on the loom. Then each artisan adds his or her own personality to the cloth by making uniquely intricate patterns and designs. The backstrap method has changed very little over the centuries, you will see this style of fabric in our Milieu clutches and woven tote bags.
Foot Loomed Fabric
A faster way of weaving fabric is using a Foot Loom. For an experienced male weaver, it takes just one day to finish 4-5 metres and women a bit longer since they aren't physically as strong. A common design you may recognize is called "Jaspe" and this means that they take the thread and hand tie sections. The craftsman then dyes each individual section, piece by piece and hangs the thread to dry. It is a similar technique to tie dying. The weaver can then begin the process of threading their foot loom which works much like a bicycle. They alternate pedals with their feet and thread the fabric back and forth. This style of fabric you will see as the panels in our leather bags.
Our one of a kind clutches are constructed using carefully selected vintage fabrics purchased responsibly. These fabrics have lived a full life before being incorporated into your clutch as Huipiles. These vintage fabrics were woven from memory by a Guatemalan artisan up to 10 years ago, each pattern is distinctive of the region where the artisan resides. We always select high-quality pieces and pay fair prices for the fabrics that become the exterior of our signature clutches. We carefully curate each piece of fabric and do not buy them in bulk, our clutches are all one off pieces and very special.