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: