Hiptipico's curated collection features the expert artistry of indigenous women in rural Guatemala. Their traditional weaving techniques have been perfected over time and passed down from generation to generation in the Maya towns. Unlike computer-generated and machine-stitched designs, our artisans weave from the heart, drawing on centuries-old wisdom. What is most powerful about the beauty of the native textiles is that the female artisan is intimately engaged in every moment of the weaving process. That is what makes each design remarkable. No two pieces are the same--you can see and feel the passion and dedication woven into each embroidery.
A backstrap loom is a traditional weaving tool used by Maya artisans in Guatemala. Through the art of back strap weaving, women express their cultural identity, create their unique clothing, and also generate income for their families. The weaver starts with raw cotton, which they clean, dye, and spin into thread. The traditional backstrap loom uses the weaver’s body to establish the tension needed to create the woven fabric. As a result, this process is far more physically engaging than it looks. Moving their bodies back and forth to tighten and loosen the tension, the weaver's body is practically part of the loom and the weaving.
Newly loomed products provide a flexible, dignified work opportunity for local women in Guatemala. Your support also helps keep the Maya weaving tradition alive!
Foot Pedal Loom
A pedal-loom is an artisanal weaving method that uses the artisan's feet to alternately lift and lower the thread. A more stationary weaving process, these looms can get quite large and are operated by both men and women. While this is a more modern and swift way to weave, these looms are entirely foot powered and use no electricity. The pedal feature allows artisans to weave much faster so it's typically used to create larger textiles, scarves and traditional corte skirts.
Our artisan partner María uses the traditional foot pedal loom to weave her gorgeous table runners. One table runner takes the women of María's cooperative about one day to weave using this loom.
The famous jaspe (haspe) fabric is almost woven on a foot loom. Weavers dye the thread by hand before weaving it into fabric.
Our leather is locally sourced and manipulated by our skilled leather artisans in small home workshops. Using traditional techniques for cutting, stitching, tooling and stamping by hand, our artisan partners are true leather craftsmen. The majority of leatherwork is executed by male members of cooperatives, while women take on the more meticulous tasks, like assembling hardware, tight stitching and detailed button accents. Our talented artisans are also able to source and work with synthetic leather for an animal-friendly vegan option!
We repurpose used fabric, textiles and embroideries from Maya women in Guatemala. Instead of weaving new designs, we preserve the integrity of Maya weavers by upcycling their used garments. Huipiles are the embroidered blouses and cortes are the long fabric skirts traditionally worn by indigenous Maya women.
Most women weave their own clothes and take pride in their skill, having learned from a young age from their mothers or grandmothers. Similar to the rest of the fashion world, these huipiles and cortes go in and out of style with passing trends amongst indigenous communities in Guatemala. After showing off their new clothes and wearing them for a few seasons, a woman will begin to weave a new one before selling the old garments at the market!
By repurposing these old garments we are saving them from the landfill and avoiding the carbon footprint caused by making new clothes! All of our vintage and upcycled textiles lived a life before being turned into a new bag--each one was created by a Maya woman a number of years ago.
This means, every piece we source from the local market is designed and crafted by a single artist. We do not interfere with the artist's creative process, so you get the unfiltered, totally authentic taste of the indigenous traditions of Guatemala.
Artisan Spotlight: Lydia
Originally from the vibrant town of Chichicastenango, Lydia grew up surrounded by textiles and embroideries. As a young girl she frollicked amongst patterns and colors as her mother sold used traditional clothing at the local market. Her mother sourced traditional Maya textiles for years and Lydia proudly maintains her culture by continuing in the family business. She graciously wears her native garb, embroiderers her own designs, speaks the indigenous language K'iche' and is passing all of this cultural knowledge down to her children to help preserve her Maya roots.