Technique: Natural Dye
THE TECHNIQUE : NATURAL DYE
Maya Traditions was founded in 1996 and is based out of Guatemala. The organization was founded to empower female Mayan artisans in Guatemala and has been committed to connecting backstrap weavers and their families with a larger marketplace for their handmade goods. Maya Traditions is a proud member of the Word Fair Trade Organization.
To create the beautiful and naturally dyed products, the artisans practice a traditional technique. Female artisans use locally sourced plants and local insects to develop beautiful colors of thread for their textiles. At the same time, because this natural process reduces the quantity of synthetic chemicals used, the technique protects the artisans, their families and communities, as well as the environment.
There are four main steps involved to create the naturally dyed products. First, the women use a banana leaf when preparing the thread. These banana leaves are then boiled for two to three hours, and the thread is soaked in this liquid. Next, the plants and insects are prepared for the dye. Threads are added to this natural dye and can soak for 30 minutes to four hours based on the desired color. After the right color forms for the thread, the thread is separated from the dye and dries. And once completely dried, the artisans use the thread to create their beautiful hand-woven products.
To learn more about the backstrap weaving technique that is practiced to create these travel sets and pillows, read more about the technique here.
Located in Panajachel, Sololá, Guatemala, Maya Traditions has been dedicated to connecting indigenous, female Maya backstrap weaver artisans and their families to national and international markets since 1996. Maya Traditions ensures that the culture of these artisans is preserved and seen across all of their products. By promoting a fair trade model, their main goal is to help these artisan families and their communities work towards a better lifestyle. They provide various social programs in youth education, community health, and artisan development. Today, Maya Traditions partners with eight self-governed cooperatives in six rural villages and over 100 skilled female artisans who practice many different artisan techniques.