|women in traje selling flowers on the stairs of san tomas church in chichicastenango|
I love traveling because I love learning/ experiencing/ appreciating things that I can't really learn/ experience/ appreciate at home. One of the things I wanted to do in Guatemala was learn how women make these beautiful textiles. I hooked up with Trama Textiles, a cooperative of women tejedores (weavers) in Xela for a 10-hour crash course in using a backstrap loom for weaving.
It took about three hours of prep work before I could even start weaving, then about six hours to weave a simple six-foot scarf. And let me tell you, I am so glad that I have well-developed shoulder and back muscles from climbing big rocks, because my arms were tired by the end!
Here's how the entire process of weaving a scarf, from start to finish. If the text and pictures don't make any sense, just skip to the video at the end!
Step 1: Select your colors, one main color (green) and two contrasting colors (white and gold).
Step 6: Strap yourself into the loom by putting the belt (cintura, though I think there's another name for it) around your waist and wrapping its threads around the bottom of the loom.