Handwoven By Mayan Women Via Backstrap Loom
Excellent Gift Idea
4 Piece Set
Perfect For Any Dining Table and Any Occasion
Length: 20.5 inches
Width: 14.75 inches
Materials: Handwoven Dyed Cotton
For daily use or for guests who appreciate great quality. When dirty, machine or hand wash using warm water with regular detergent.
These beautifully handwoven and intricately designed Cotton Placemats are a great addition to your dining room or kitchen. Perfect for any occasion, use them for breakfast, lunch and dinner, or keep them for those special dinner parties. Each one uniquely and lovingly handwoven by our local Mayan women of Pastores, Guatemala. Wow your dinner guests with the history behind them and be proud to have a traditional textile from Guatemala under your roof.
In Guatemala, the process of creating these amazing textiles is long and arduous, but with an inspiring outcome. Once the cotton is picked, and any remaining seeds have been removed, the cotton is spindled into a ball and is submerged into a container full of a steaming hot dye. A kaleidoscopic range of dyes is extracted from all sorts of plants, herbs and spices available in the region. Once dry, the dyed cotton is woven using a Backstrap loom. This part of the process requires time and patience. Practiced by many artisans throughout Guatemala and indigenous to the highlands for many generations, it's more of an art form rather than just a craft.
This weaving technique, according to Mayan mythology, originates with the Maya Goddess of fertility and procreation, Ixchel. Representing female empowerment, Ixchel passed on the knowledge of weaving to the first women and has since been passed on from mother to daughter over generations. Backstrap weaving is carried out using a simple means of a set of parallel sticks that hold in place the threads running vertically. Horizontal threads that run parallel to the sticks are then cross-woven one by one using a shuttle to pass through the layers, often interweaving different colors for patterns and images.
The Backstrap Loom is easy to attach to any post, pillar or tree, and a strap is placed around the weaver's back, hence the name. This mobility allows the artwork to be created anywhere at anytime. This is especially important for these hardworking women, who are not just artists, but full-time mothers housewives, cooks and students.
This age-old technique is not only a way for such women to earn their bread but a way to reflect their artistic expression and traditions unique only to them that have been passed down over generations.