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The Impact of Living Threads Co. & Buying Handmade

Part of Living Thread Co.'s mission is to not only connect all of our customers to beautifully handwoven products but also to enable our artisans to continue their passion of weaving. Each purchase you make of our handwoven products impacts small scale artisans - providing them access to raw materials, microcredit, income, and training.  More than this, with each purchase you are providing opportunity for personal creativity, purpose, pride and helping us to keep alive ancient artisan traditions.  We asked our artisans how working with Living Threads Co. has impacted them, as well as what the biggest change in their lives has been as a result of that partnership with Living Threads Co. 

Don't listen to us.

Take it from our partner ARTISANS.

Photo by Luke Pekrul 

Photo by Luke Pekrul 

Huber Cabellero, nicaragua

"Our work with Living Threads Co, allows us to have improvements in our standard of living, our livelihood and work is based out of our homes, and we have gotten to meet many people. Many people have also gotten to know and enjoy our work and products.  LTCo. has helped us by providing loans to purchase raw materials."  

Lilliam Centeno, NIcaragua

"I discovered my capacity to create beautiful pieces, develop self-esteem, and improve my financial stability. LTCo. has helped increase orders, given us zero interest loans and we have sales in the U.S." 

Daniela zapata, nicaragua

"I now have a larger income and can purchase raw materials through the LTCo. microcredit program. Living Threads Co. has helped us to progress and maintain access to the market" 

francisca mendoza, guatemala

"I am a widow and I survive on what I earn through weaving.  Thanks to this project (Living Threads Co.) us women feel proud of the work we consistently have. It is hard for women to find work in Guatemala. Through weaving and our partnership with Living Threads Co. we can now buy a pair of shoes and we can think about ourselves. Thank you Amanda and the people who buy our products. Thank you also because with your support we are able to realize the dreams of many children. LTCo. allows me to have a security in what I do."  

Photo by Luke Pekrul

Photo by Luke Pekrul

Founder Amanda working with our artisans in Nicaragua on finishings.

Founder Amanda working with our artisans in Nicaragua on finishings.

The History of Weaving Told By Our Artisans

Juana in San Juan La Laguna, Guatemala

The History of Weaving

In Guatemala and Nicaragua the art of weaving and using natural dyes has been passed down from generation to generation over thousands of years. In Guatemala, backstrap loom weaving, a loom made of sticks and string and then tied around the weavers waist on one end and up into the rafters on the other,  is a traditional Mayan art. This technique of weaving has been passed down from mother to daughter for generations and used to create beautiful hand woven and then hand embroidered fabrics used in the traditional dress of women and men.  In Nicaragua, artisans today are still working to revitalize the traditional art after the cultivation of cotton and practice of weaving was banned by the Somoza regime in the 1950's.  Today, artisans weave on large foot pedal looms, often built by hand using reclaimed wood.  

In both Guatemala and Nicaragua artisans face great challenges in their efforts to keep this art alive. Artisans lack access to year round stable markets, lack financial resources to invest in raw materials, and lack opportunities to learn and grow their business. Living Threads Co. was founded to address all of these challenges. 

What do Our Artisans Say

Recently, we asked some of our artisans about their personal and family history of weaving:

Huber NIC.jpg




“I am always learning something new, I learned how to weave in 2006 from my mother Danelia Zapata and I have been weaving for 11 years “  
— Huber A. Cabellero Zapata



I learned how to weave 55 years ago by an instructor from El Salvador through a non-profit livelihood program. 
— Daniela Zapata
Living Threads Co. partner Artisans
I learned  how to weave in 2004 from my teacher Daniela Zapata and I have been weaving for 14 years. 
—  Lilliam Centeno
My grandmother taught me how to weave when I was 10 and I have been weaving since then. 
— Francisca Mendoza