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Technique: Ethiopian Cotton Weaving

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THE TECHNIQUE : ETHIOPIAN COTTON WEAVING


 

Cotton is one of the major cash crops in Ethiopia, due to an abundance of land and excellent growing conditions. Ethiopia is investing heavily in the cotton industry, hoping to become a lead exporter of the most widely-used global textile. It provides the livelihood for millions of East Africans, and plays a large part in the culture of Ethiopia.

 

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For centuries, Ethiopian artisans have been spinning cotton and weaving it into beautiful fabrics. Today, they are combining traditional techniques with modern designs, keeping a rich history alive while bringing their goods to a global market.  Every step of creating these cotton products is done by hand. After the cotton is harvested, it is spun into yarn using a technique that is traditionally passed down from mother to daughter.  The thread is dyed with organic plant dyes made from berries, roots, flowers, and bark. Next, it is handwoven on a loom, typically by men who pass down the technique to their sons. Handweaving is an intricate process, but results in beautifully patterned designs and high-quality fabrics.

 

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Woven Promises

Woven Promises is a proud member of the Fair Trade Federation and works to create economic partnerships through support of entrepreneurial effort of talented but economically struggling people in the developing world. Their artisans produce, spin, weave, and dye their products by hand in Ethiopia, reflecting traditional and contemporary patterns and designs. These products create sustainable employment, access to health care and a savings fund for the artisans. Woven Promises exists on a foundation of deep appreciation of the cultural heritage of their artisans and provides assistance to improve their overall quality of life.

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