Posts Tagged ‘weaving’

Backstrap Weaving Essentials

April 28, 2014

Education And More carries a variety of backstrap weaving items in our online store and also in our Etsy store.   If you are a beginning weaver or wanting to learn the backstrap loom we have everything you need — 3 sizes of looms, several colors of backstrap belts, naturally dyed yarn, Mayan ikat yarns,  loom bags and typical Guatemalan handcarved drop spindles.

The yarn we sell is the typical yarn used by our Mayan artisans to produce the beautiful Fair Trade weavings in our webstore.  It has been naturally dyed by them using plants, barks, vegetables, fruits, etc.  The yarn is a very fine cotton yarn similar to 18/2 here in the States and produces extremely durable, long lasting  and exquisite textiles.

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If you would like to have an example of a warped up backstrap loom to look at when you are learning to weave, then look at our decorative looms that are a perfect wall decoration as well as being a perfect sample of warping.

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Ikat yarns are used frequently by our Mayan friends in their weavings to add a unique design element.  We have several colors of the ikat in our webstore also.  Be sure to look closely at the weavings in our store to see all the different ikat designed textiles we carry.t22c

One of our popular items is our loom bags.  The fabric for these duffel style bags is handwoven on a backstrap loom then sewn by the artisans and is a perfect bag for carrying your ‘work in progress’  or storing your loom!

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We carry 3 sizes of backstrap looms — 8 inch, 12 inch, and the large is 18 inch.  They have been hand carved by a Mayan artisan who supports his family with sales of his handcarved looms.  He lives near the top of a volcanic mountain in the western highlands of Guatemala in a small village and carves the rustic looms for local sales as well as his sales to Education And More.  He receives a fair trade income  from E&M  for all the looms we purchase and it helps his family in so many ways.

Stop by and see  all our hand weaving accessories!

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Warping The Loom

April 10, 2014

For non weavers it seems a difficult and daunting tsak to get the yarn from the skeins onto the looms, known as ‘warping the loom’ in weaving lingo.   I am sure the job is similar with weavers around the world but here I will show you how our artisans in Guatemala warp their looms.

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If the yarn is in skeins the weaver winds it onto spools.  These are homemade spools and the winder you can see is made from a bicycle wheel and is done for warping the foot pedal looms.

The process is a little different for the backstrap loom but the yarn still needs to be warped and the transferred to the loom. Typically they just lay the yarn on the yarn winder also called a swift and put the yarn on the warping board from there.

Yarn is typically  transferred from the swift to the warping board for a backstrap loom.

Yarn is typically transferred from the swift to the warping board for a backstrap loom.

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It is incredible to me that weavers can plan the weaving and get the yarn on the huge warping board/ wheels in the needed pattern for the large floor looms. Below is the urdidor / warping wheel used for the foot pedal loom by our artisans.

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After the yarn has been warped it is transferred to the loom and the weaving begins.

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Putting the warp on the backstrap loom

Putting the warp on the backstrap loom

 

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Hand weaving is very labor intensive but produces beautiful textiles that will last for years.  Our artisans produce several weights of cloth on their  floor looms and backstrap looms-  from fine dress weight cloth to heavy upholstery weight textiles.

We have a wide assortment of their weavings in our online  webstore here

and also in our Etsy shop here.

 

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.

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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

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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

 

Mission Trip to Guatemala in October!

May 17, 2013

We are really excited to tell you about our October trip — a trip to really make a difference in the lives of school children and teachers!  Take your choice of what you would like to do while on this trip– help with repairs and building or teach Vacation Bible School.

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We will be working at a small school in the western highlands of Guatemala.  This remote little school is situated high on a volcanic mountain and contains only 3 classrooms and 3 teachers. Because of limited resources they need our help with repairs and with a building project at the school and have also invited us to present VBS to the children at the school.

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You will have time to:

  • your choice of work projects — building/repairs or teaching Vacation Bible School
  • meet the artisans we work with and visit their communities and homes
  • maybe see how they make those delicious tortillas by hand
  • learn a little of a Mayan language – T”zutujil, Kakchiquel or K’iche
  • visit other villages in the rural highlands  and see beautiful Lake Atitlan
  • see the colonial city of Antigua
  • share God’s love while helping our neighbors in Guatemala
  • maybe teach a little English in our spare time at the school
  • view weaving demonstrations on a backstrap loom and foot pedal loom
We will be building a new kitchen stove for the school!

We will be building a new kitchen stove for the school!

Learn more about this trip of a lifetime at our website and then email us for more information!

Trip dates — September 28 thru October 7th

Hurry before the trip fills up!

Visit beautiful Lake Atitlan

Visit beautiful Lake Atitlan

Help us present Vacation Bible School to the little children!

Help us present Vacation Bible School to the little children!

Meet the artisans and see their villages.

Meet the artisans and see their villages.

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Beautiful cathedral – La Merced – in Antigua.

Indigo And Ikat

February 22, 2013

Ikat has become really popular in the last few years for home furnishings even though it has been used for centuries in woven textiles. Various styles of Ikat are produced around the world including the Ikat of the Mayans in Guatemala. Especially popular in home decor is the deep marine blue of indigo with the ikat.

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The artisans we work with in Guatemala use a lot of ikat in their weavings and have designed some of new weavings and products with ikat.

Check out our online store for more Ikat and Indigo handcrafts!  Education And More Store

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Blue Placemats with lots of ikat

Blue Placemats with lots of ikat

Pillow covers for your home!

Pillow covers for your home!

 

Educational Weaving Tour to Guatemala

June 20, 2012

Do you want to see how Fair Trade benefits artisans and their families and learn more about Fair Trade?

Do you want to learn more about Education And More?

Do you love to travel?

Do you want to meet Mayan artisans and get to know them in their daily lives?

Do love textiles and would you like to learn how to weave on a backstrap loom?

Come to Guatemala with Education And More on their Educational Weaving Tour to Guatemala.

We have 2 trips scheduled for 2013 — one trip in January and the other in August.

Check out the webpage for more information!