The Footloom Process Simplified
Our Artisan Collection is one of our most important collections, as it was created to encourage and support the art of weaving. This collection of newly woven fabric is made custom using a footloom, and it's created on a small-batch scale ensuring attention to detail and quality. Commissioning the looming of these new fabrics is key to the local economy, because it creates a sustainable form of income and encourages tradition. With your help we are able to keep this beautiful art form alive, and support the well-being of our beloved Guatemalan artisans!
1. Winding a skein into a ball - Thread is purchased by skeins or “madejas” by the pound, then it is placed in a handmade device called a Devanador to help wrap the thread into balls.
2. Spinning the thread through a spindle. From balls, the thread is then transferred onto smaller metal spools with a spindle, called a ruedina, usually made from a metal bike wheel.
3. Organizing the color of thread on metal spools. The spools of thread are aligned by color, on a long rectangular homemade device, called a trascañonera, that helps organize the order of color required by the fabric design.
4. Sorting the thread by color and width. The weaver then lays out the threads piece by piece using her fingers and hands to sort the desired pattern onto another homemade spinning piece of equipment, called an Urdidora, that stands taller than the weaver herself. This step takes into account the color and width of each stripe in a pattern.
5. Placing the thread on the footloom. The thread is removed from the Urdidora and carefully placed onto the footloom, where the threads are split in half to be pulled up and down as the weft or “trama de mano” (the horizontal thread) is passed through warp or “trama de pie” (the vertical thread) and background.
6. Weaving the threads into fabric. Finally ready to loom! The weavers simultaneously work with their hands and feet, pressing the pedals to create the fabric you see on our bags.