Ikat Dyed Yarns Are Labor Intensive

Our artisan groups in the western highlands of Guatemala use a lot of Ikat in their weavings and in their Mayan languages of Kakchiquel and T’zutujil this special yarn dyeing process is called jaspe or jaspiado — which just means that it is very laborious to make the tied and dyed yarns.

Artisan tying yarn to porch post to begine the Ikat process of tying the yarns before dyeing.

Next the string is waxed with paraffin and then the ties are done along the yarn.

Now the tying begins.

Because tying and dyeing the yarn is so labor intensive many artisans buy it at the local markets from vendors that do a lot of it.

Dyed bundles still tied together from the resist dyeing

unique designs of ikat yarns

After unwrapping the bundles of yarn the patterns begin to appear.

There are many colors to choose from in the local markets of Guatemala and many designs.

Below are many of the typical Ikat designs in fabrics and textiles.

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