Tz'utujil Guide: Using Plants as Natural Dyes


Natural Dye Process


Hiptipico Tz'utujil artisan partners in San Juan la Laguna using only plants native to the area to dye their cotton prior to weaving. This artisanal knowledge has been preserved over time and has been passed down from generation to generation.


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Here is a step by step guide to share with you the lengthy method and craftsmanship that goes into carefully dyeing each fiber. 


Foraging + Gathering

Rosa uses local plants, bark, vegetables and fruits such as hibiscus flowers, coconut shells, achiote, and avocado trees.


Artisan partner Rosa gathers leaves to prepare natural textile dyes, ethical fashion brands that use natural dyes, maya dying process, tz'utujil weaveers

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Fibers + Cold Water

Moistening the cotton fibers prior to tinting allows for a more even dye process and clean absorption of color.


Long-term artisan partner Rosa prepares textiles for dying, authentic naturally died products, Guatemala ethical fashion, maya weavers

Long-term artisan partner Rosa wrings water out of fabric for dying, authentic naturally died products, Guatemala ethical fashion, maya weavers


Boiling Water + Plants

The dye-bath is the solution of pigments created by boiling the vegetation in water and used to transfer the dye to the cotton.


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Simmer + Dye

Allow the fibers to simmer in the dye-bath for an extended amount of time (20mins - 2 hours) depending on the desired color.


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Rinse + Cool

Drain off excess dye, rinse thoroughly and allow to dry to see the final color.


Artisan partner Rosa squeezes out water from the piece of fabric to demonstrate the color and efficacy of the dye, dyeing workshops, maya weavers, tz'utujil weaving and dyeing

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Dry + Use

In Guatemala, our artisan partners immediately begin the weaving process - creating scarves, bags, and ponchos with the dyed fibers. 


Model holds assorted bundles of dyed fabric in orange, blue, and grey strands, maya weaving workshops, how to see maya weavers work, handcrafted textiles from Guatemala

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Travel + Learn

You too can learn directly from our artisan partner Rosa on the ground in Guatemala (sign up here) - or follow this guide at home!


Workshop participant takes a picture of Rosa working on beautiful olive colored fabric on her iphone, workshops for business owners and fashion professionals, weaving workshops, maya weaving workshop, naturally dyed products

Hiptipico founder Alyssa Yamamoto speaks to participants of natural dying workshop in lush garden, weaving opportunities, how to learn about maya weaving, tz'utujil culture, ethical fashion blogs


Shop and support the women weavers and female artisans of San Juan la Laguna  here⇠ 

Contact us directly to book an immersion tour with Rosa to see the natural dye process firsthand and learn to weave your own scarf!


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