frazadas, have been handwoven by aymara women in the andean region since pre-hispanic times, and used to protect against the high altitude cold. The weaving of each frazada is done in two separate parts which are then sewn together; this central seam shows decorative details and colors that highlight the beauty of the tapestry.
frazadas make great rugs, blankets at the foot of the bed, and throws – and also tablecloths and picnic blankets
(which is how they are used by many andean families).
Huipil [ˈwipil] (from the Nahuatl word huīpīlli ) is the most common traditional garment worn by indigenous women from central Mexico to Central America.
The Mayan blouse is called a huipil or güipil, or in on the more common Mayan languages – Kaqchikel – it is called a po’t. A huipil is generally woven by hand on a backstrap loom. The woman weaver generally spends several hours a day seated on her knees weaving the panels to make the huipil. This work can take up to 6 months for one huipil.
Each garment is uniquely decorated with a variety of designs and symbols, each with its own sacred meaning. The symbols range from the diamond, representing the universe and the path of the sun in it’s daily movement including the four cardinal directions, to geomorphic representations of mountains, rivers, animals, corn plants, and people. Sometimes a weaver will sew a small representation of her nahual in a discreet location on her garment so that it can always be kept close. Among the Quiché Maya (K’iche’) each person has his or her own nahual who watches over and protects him.
There are also variations in the garments based on the climate. In high mountainous regions, where the weather is cold and there is sometimes snow, the huipil can be very thick and heavy to keep its wearer warm. Some can weigh upwards of 5 pounds. In warmer regions, where it can be very hot and humid, the huipil might be lightweight and almost gauze-like in its design.
Ikat, or ikkat, is a dyeing technique used to pattern textiles that employs resist dyeing on the yarns prior to dyeing and weaving the fabric.
In ikat the resist is formed by binding individual yarns or bundles of yarns with a tight wrapping applied in the desired pattern. The yarns are then dyed. The bindings may then be altered to create a new pattern and the yarns dyed again with another colour. This process may be repeated multiple times to produce elaborate, multicolored patterns. When the dyeing is finished all the bindings are removed and the yarns are woven into cloth. In other resist-dyeing techniques such as tie-dye and batik the resist is applied to the woven cloth, whereas in ikat the resist is applied to the yarns before they are woven into cloth. Because the surface design is created in the yarns rather than on the finished cloth, in ikat both fabric faces are patterned.
A characteristic of ikat textiles is an apparent “blurriness” to the design. The blurriness is a result of the extreme difficulty the weaver has lining up the dyed yarns so that the pattern comes out perfectly in the finished cloth. The blurriness can be reduced by using finer yarns or by the skill of the craftsperson. Ikats with little blurriness, multiple colours and complicated patterns are more difficult to create and therefore often more expensive. However, the blurriness that is so characteristic of ikat is often prized by textile collectors.
Jaspe is a tie-and-dye or resist-dye method, also known as ikat in some parts of the world, which produces patterns in the warp, weft or both in a woven cloth. The weave structure itself is usually plain weave and it can be woven on backstrap or treadle looms, warped faced with vertical designs, weft-faced with horizontal lines, or balanced weave with jaspe designs going in both directions. Simple jaspe is woven in many villages throughout Guatemala, but complex jaspe, called labor, is woven only in a few.
Kantha is made of 100% Cotton Fabric. It has three layers of old recycled sarees stitched together with thousands of small & delicate fine running sturdily Kantha stitches, Hand crafted softly quilted handmade by artisans in India. Two good condition fabric is placed on both side of quilt and small pieces of fabric are places in between in such a way that its equally spread and make a three layer quilt, some time if both side fabric are thick enough then no middle stuff is used.
Perraje/Rebozo – Maya Woman’s Shawl
The woman’s shawl, known as a perrajes in Mayan or rebozo in Spanish, is an important part of the traditional traje. Though known as a shawl for providing warmth, it also has other uses such as; baby sling and head covering. The styles of perraje vary from village to village, as does the style of wearing them. Usually they are back-strap woven in one or two panels. Some have fringe and elaborate macrame style weaving with large tassles or pompoms. Other are simple with no fringe at all. It’s typical to find perrajes with beautiful jaspe (or ikat) designwork.
Skirts or cortes are generally woven on a foot-powered, treadle loom and are usually woven by men. The fabric is much wider, longer, and thinner than that of a huipil. The corte is a wrap-around skirt that consists of a cut of cloth joined to form a tube into which the woman steps. Excess material is wrapped around the body and folded at the waist in pleats, and tied with a faja (belt). The women purchase the corte fabric by the yard, and then join the sides and decorate the seams to fit their needs.
The fabric woven to create the corte can be varied depending on the style in a particular area or town. Sometimes tie-dyed strands are woven in to the pattern. These are referred to as an Ikat design. In some areas they weave rows of flowers or animal designs through the length of the fabric. Generally corte fabric is fairly thick when compared to commercial fabric, and can last for many years.
The seam where the fabric is joined is called the randa. These are sometimes very decorative with elaborate hand or machine stitching.
Depending on the region, the corte can be short and stops around the knee, almost appearing to be a tailored skirt, and in other regions it can be long and full, with many yards of fabric wrapped around its wearer.
The tzute or zut is a multipurpose woven cloth that comes in a variety of sizes. Women can be seen using these functional heavy-duty textiles for carrying babies, covering baskets of food, head coverings for church or to avoid the bright sun, or as a simple shawl for when the weather is cooler. They are often carried over the arm until needed.
The tzutes are generally woven on a backstrap loom and are made of one or two panels. There is stitching that joins the two panels, the randa. Sometimes this stitching is very decorative with flourishes done either by hand stitching or machine work, and sometimes this stitching is very simple, solely for function.
Men also will carry tzutes for formal or religious occasions. Theirs are of a slightly different design, and frequently have embellishments such as tassels or ribbons on the corners. Tzutes have many of the geomorphic decorations similar to those seen in the huipiles, and their town can frequently be recognized by their patterns or colors.