Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Chiapas Collection

The story behind our latest collection of hand woven cushions and runners

I had a bumpy, vomit inducing, eighteen hour bus ride from Tulum on the coast into the Mexican highlands to meet the non-profit organisation, El Camino de los Altos, so I was delighted when I saw their hand woven cushions and runners.  Each piece is exquisitely designed using ancient weaving techniques  combining traditional Mexican artistry with bold contemporary design.

 

Back-strap-loom-weaving

 The Chiapas collection is lovingly hand-made by Mayan women using the traditional pre-Hispanic back-strap loom. Combining contemporary French design influences with ancient Mayan techniques and iconography, the organisation founders work with the craftswomen to design, create and produce the collection using only the highest quality materials.  Each piece is carefully crafted and all embroidery and finishing is done by hand.  It takes on average three days to create a back strap loom woven cushion and seven to create a table/bed runner.

As well as training the weavers and introducing new designs, El Camino De Los Altos also provides a literacy programme for them to learn Spanish and for their children to learn their own indigenous language.   The organisation also supports the artisans with loans for healthcare.

literacy-project-El-Camino

 

I’m very excited to be working with El Camino De Los Altos.  The organisation has succeeded in preserving traditional handicraft skills, whilst improving the lives of the weavers and creating a vibrant, modern collection perfect for the contemporary home.

Abuela striped cushions - Chiapas collection