Backstrap weaving is an ancient art practiced for centuries in many parts of the world - Peru, Guatemala, China, Japan, Bolivia, Mexico and Native Americans. Today it is still used on a daily basis in many parts of Guatemala to weave fabrics to make clothing and other household cloth needs. Many of the women also weave a variety of items to help earn a living by selling to tourists.
In Guatemala the women have typically used cotton yarn for their weavings and used natural plants from their area to dye the yarn various colors. They still tint yarn by hand but also buy cotton yarn that has already been chemically dyed. The natural tints are softer colors than chemical dyes. These natural tints come from plants and bark such as:
- sacatinta -a blue color
- coconut shell -brown
- carrots -orange
- achote -soft orange/peach
- hibiscus flower -rosy pink
- chilca -soft yellow
- bark of the avocado tree -beige
A great book about weaving with the backstrap was written by Barbara Taber and Marilyn Anderson in 1975 - "Backstrap Weaving, step by step techniques on one of the oldest and most versatile looms". Another book with some information is "The Weaving Primer, A Complete Guide to Inkle, Backstrap, and Frame Looms" by Nina Holland, 1978.
Education And More, a Christian Fair Trade organization, works with artisan weavers in Guatemala and helps them earn a Fair Trade income with their backstrap weavings. Visit our website and our Education And More blog to learn more about Fair Trade, backstrap weaving, and our Women's Artisan Groups. There are many photographs of the backstrap loom and of women weaving in Guatemala!
Karen Pickett, Director
Education And More
A Christian Fair Trade organization working to educate children and reduce poverty in Guatemala.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Karen_Pickett
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