I had heard so many wonderful things about San Cristóbal de las Casas, I just had to include it on my latest sourcing trip. Packed with cobbled streets and bustling markets it did not disappoint! Whilst you can find Mexican weavers across the country, this particular collection was woven in the state of Chiapas.
The beautiful fabrics are created on a backstrap loom which consists of a top bar that is anchored to a something sturdy (like a tree or a post) and a bottom bar which is connected around the weavers hips. Once the loom is set up, artisans count and weave the threads together to create patterned fabrics often inspired by their heritage. Expert weavers use their bodies to create tension among the fibres and to create a variety of textures. Each panel is roughly the width of the weavers hips and is then hand stitched together to make up larger fabrics.
It takes over a week to weave each panel but that’s only once the weaving is underway. First, the raw fibres must be turned into threads. Artisans begin with cotton that has been grown and picked or raw wool from sheep. They then clean, card, spin and naturally dye it, until it is ready to be woven onto the backstrap loom.
Explore the range of gorgeous handwoven pieces by these master weavers in the collection below.