Archive for the ‘Sewing Center’ Category

Weaving Looms in Guatemala

March 30, 2014

Weaving on large floor looms, known by our artisans in the rural areas  of Guatemala as foot pedal looms, has typically been done by men.   Mayan women didn’t usually do either, weaving on foot pedal looms or sewing on sewing machines. The women however have used the backstrap loom  to weave all the cloth needs of their families.   This has been changing in recent years and now women are accomplished seamstresses on sewing machines and master weavers on the large looms.  Education And More works with three artisan groups of women that weave on various size foot pedal looms and electric sewing machines.

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Some of our groups use the extremely large looms — nearly 6 feet long and 4-5 feet wide.  They usually weave fabric not wider than about 36 inches.  Another of our groups uses a smaller floor loom that is about 4-5 feet long and  about 4 feet wide and then another group has several small looms that are about 3 feet long and 2 feet wide that they can use to weave belts and other narrow items.


Of course all our artisan groups still use the backstrap loom and teach it to their daughters when the girls are about 7 years old.

It is interesting to see the looms in action and even more interesting to see them warp up or get the yarn ready to put on the loom.  Part 2 of this post will show how they get the yarn ready. If you would like to purchase any  of the handwoven items from our artisans please check out our Etsy shop or our webstore at Education And More







Be sure to stop by and the all the beautiful woven items by the master weavers — the women of our artisan groups!  Fair Trade table runners, napkins, placemats, towels, purses, bags, totes, scarves, wraps and so much more.  Plus, see our selection of weaving supplies and tools such as backstrap looms, battens, weaving swords, hand dyed yarn, loom totes and bags and spindles.


Education And More store on Etsy


Our website online store at Education And More


A New Skill =

September 10, 2013

Artesanas I’xkoq’a were really happy to receive sewing lessons earlier this year along with new sewing machines  and supplies and they worked hard to learn this new skill.  After the earlier lessons we required they practice their sewing for a few months and then we began more lessons for them with their instructor, Gaspar.  They will now have 4 more months of lessons to really become proficient with their new skills.



What will these new skills mean to them?  It means new opportunities to earn money sewing their own handcrafts and also sewing for others in their community.  They will now be able to sew the hems on their handwoven napkins and placemats, make purses, pillows and so much more!

This group is very organized and always searching for ways to improve their handcraft business with improved or new skills and improved business practices.  We are very pleased to be able to help them by furnishing their sewing center and providing 7 months of sewing lessons.



Another New Sewing Center!

March 18, 2013

In January we began a new center for another group to learn how to sew — another educational aspect of Education And More!

Many of the group could sew a little, but the  products they made lacked the precision and quality that we needed  so that we could market their products for them in the world market.  They have been so appreciate of their new machines, supplies and lessons and are learning rapidly how to sew correctly, how to make patterns and how to use various types of machines.


As with our other groups many like to use the treadle sewing machines although they have new electric machines too.


This group will receive lessons for several months so they are able to attain a high quality with their sewing.  We look forward to bringing their new products to market in a few months!


How Does A Neck Scarf Help?

December 5, 2012
  • What can a mother earn in Guatemala?
  • Is she able to care for her children and home and still earn money to help?
  • How can a single mother feed her children?
  • Can a family buy school supplies and send their children to school?

So what do these questions have to do with a neck scarf?


What is a neck scarf worth to these women?  How does a neck scarf help them…………

Every time someone buys a neck scarf from Education And More it gives the weaver —- that mother — an income. What does she earn for her weaving? Our artisans earn approximately 200% above the Guatemalan poverty line for each hour they work on products.

But that is not all —

  • they receive business training to develop their weaving / handcraft businesses
  • advance payment if needed
  • new sewing centers
  • learning new skills such as sewing
  • they receive help for their children to attend school
  • interest free micro-credit loans

These are just a small portion of the extra benefits our artisans have received.  This is all possible because you have bought one of their handcrafts in our online store or hosted a bazaar of their handcrafts at your church.

So how does a neck scarf help?  Let me count the ways…………………………




Coin Purses — Uniquely Designed and Woven

May 28, 2012

The artisan group, La Red de Mujeres Juaneras Tzutujiles, recently finished our order of a new coin purse style that turned out so beautiful!  We chose the colors but they of course did the weaving design and it is stunning! With the help of the sewing teacher in the new sewing center,  they were able to master this sewing project and did an outstanding  job on the coin purses.

A beautiful celestial blue aqua with chocolate brown, forest green and a little medium blue along with a really unique weaving design!

This coin purse actually has 3 zippered compartments — one one each side and one on the top.  Now you can separate your bills, coins, credit cards etc.

In addition to the new weaving design they have finished other designs in the coin purses with the 3 zippered compartments.  Check them out in our web store!

Helping Those Less Fortunate

May 10, 2012

Are you curious about our projects in Guatemala?  We have several projects and many ways in which you can help  those that are less fortunate than you.

Our new projects are:

Sweaters, Socks and Bibles project –  We are raising funds to purchase new sweaters, socks and Bibles for each of our artisan groups.  Many of the women have only one sweater to wear when it is cold and that sweater is usually very ragged.  We want to purchase new sweaters for all  90 women artisans that are in our groups.  The children wear socks if they have any but usually they do not own any or maybe have one pair, so we want to provide the children of our artisans with new socks — that is 129 children!   Our artisans speak 3 different Mayan languages – 1 group speaks Queche, 3 groups speak Kakchiquel and 2 groups speak T’zutujil – with very few of the artisans speaking  Spanish and on top of these language barriers most of the women are illiterate.  We want to provide the Bible in audio format in their own language and in Spanish so they will have it to listen to in their homes.  We need funds to help with this — won’t you help?

Vacation Bible School project – We are raising funds to have VBS programs for the children at each of our groups.  We will need VBS materials, craft projects materials, Bibles, translators, mission teams  plus much more to make this a continuing effort in the coming years. We would love to have two programs each year with each artisan group. These VBS programs will help the children learn about Jesus and His love for them and will also provide materials for them to practice their reading and writing.  Most children do not have books to read or other materials to learn skills necessary to improve their education and we hope to be able to provide some help through VBS classes.   We need funds to help with this — won’t you help?

Sewing Centers – We have identified another of our artisan groups that need our help with a sewing center.  We hope to provide a new building for a sewing center along with sewing classes for this group in the coming year.  This group was devastated with a tropical storm a couple of years ago and lost nearly all of their homes, their workshop, their looms — nearly everything.  We need funds to help with this — won’t you help?

Our ongoing projects in which we need help —

Fair Trade Handcraft Sales / Bazaars –  Now you can help the artisans in our Fair Trade women’s groups by volunteering to sell their Fair Trade handcrafts. Hosting a Fair Trade sale/ bazaar at your church, office, community center or in your home can benefit the women because every sale improves their lives by giving them more income to help support their families.  Email us for more information through our website contact page.

School Supplies project – If your group would like to collect basic school supplies for the students,we will distribute them to the children of our artisan groups.  It costs several thousand dollars to purchase needed school supplies for all the children.  Many of these children cannot go to school because of a lack of school supplies.  Also please consider donating used or new laptop computers to Education And More. We want to supply the older students in our Sponsorship program with a computer so they can benefit from technology as they continue their education.

Fundraising Project – Looking for ways to raise money for a youth trip or for your women’s programs?  We have several different fundraisers available to help you raise money and at the same time help artisans in Guatemala support their families. Hacky sack balls, ID Badgeholders, Friendship bracelets, Beaded bracelets and Neck Scarves — are a few of the fundraisers available for you to help your group and help families in Guatemala. Email us for more information.

Educational Support project – In addition to our Sponsorship Program, Education And More   helps many students attend school by providing their school supplies, backpacks and often by giving new school shoes and clothing and school fees.  Many of the children in Guatemala need this help or they are unable to attend school.  Please consider donating to our Educational Support project so that we can help even more children or get your Sunday School group or your women’s group involved in raising funds for the students.

Student needing help with school expenses.