Any guesses how our wool bags originated? Believe it or not, the wool weavings on all of our fall collection bags begin as rugs!
About a 3 hour drive from our town of Panajachel is Momostenango, a village in the Guatemalan highlands with an elevation of about 7,000 feet (hello VERY chilly nights). This little town is known for their traditional woven wool rugs, blankets, and ponchos, that are essential to staying warm. Their ancient Maya technique of weaving with wool on a foot pedal loom has been passed down for generations. The wool is sourced from local sheep, and each rug takes around 7-10 days to weave, depending on the size. Just like huipiles, no two are exactly the same due to the handcrafted nature – each having slight variations that bear the mark of the weaver. Every rug features a unique geometric pattern that is full of Maya motifs.
Our long-standing artisan partner, Don Vicente, (who also happens to be the maker of all the gorgeous straps and harmony bags on web) is from Momostenango, where he grew up in a family of sheep shearers, learning these techniques preserved through generations. Though living in Panajachel now, he continues to employ artisans from his hometown to sell these rugs in his Panajachel storefront. We purchase these rugs directly from Vicente as well as from vendors in the Chichicastenango market. (We can honestly say we searched high and low to find you the absolute best wool textile for this season’s wool collection!)
As with many ancient craft techniques, it is increasingly difficult to make a livable income simply by weaving, so less of the younger generation is learning this craft. By purchasing a bag from our wool collection, you are helping to preserve this beautiful aspect of Maya culture. We love these rugs so much, you can even find them all around our office! This is one way we support these artisans year-round, not just when we make our seasonal collection of bags.
It is of utmost importance to us to honor, admire, and appreciate each of these handcrafted works of art, which is why we share them with you! Thank you for being an ethical shopper and caring about the origin and maker of the products you purchase. We appreciate you, and your support of Guatemalan artisans.
♡ Much love from Guatemala
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