Technique: Pom Poms and Tassels
THE TECHNIQUE : POM POMS AND TASSELS
Several of the artisan groups we work with at The Little Market create beautiful pom pom and tassel accessories and décor by hand.
The Inca used colorful pom poms as ceremonial pieces, which were added to clothing. To this day, Andean indigenous women wear pom poms on their traditional hats and at the end of their braided hair. The artisans of Inspired Peru have adapted the ancient Inca tradition of decorative pom poms. Artisans use ethically sourced and local alpaca, hand-dyed wool to make pom pom accessories. After carefully shaving the alpacas, the hair is washed. Once clean, the hair is dyed using vibrant colors. The hair is once again washed of any excess dye and sun-dried for one to two days. Once the desired color is reached, the artisans thoroughly brush the hair to reach maximum softness. The artisans separately make a mold out of flexible cardboard. They then cut small segments of the hair and hand-glue it onto the mold in small sections. Once dry, the pom poms are looped into a string of braided alpaca wool to create the colorful, soft necklaces and bracelets. We are excited to work with artisans at Inspired Peru as they create these beautiful accessories.
The women of Macvilho create beautiful and colorful pom poms from plush yarn while preserving traditional Mayan techniques. The artisans use this soft yarn to create vibrant pom poms and then string them together to form a beautiful decorative accent. Seven women work together to make the pom pom garlands.
Traditionally, artisans at Kara Weaves craft pom poms using yarn and beads. These exclusive pom pom blankets for The Little Market showcase an adaptation of the technique. Artisans at Kara Weaves use fabric, rather than yarn, to carefully craft each pom pom. Small squares are cut from the fabric; each square is carefully stuffed with cotton to form the pom pom. Each pom pom is placed at a 3-inch gap between two layers of fabric and is carefully stitched into place along the edge of the blanket. Each pom pom is securely attached to the cotton blanket and is safe for children. The inspiring artisans create the beautiful pom pom blankets we carry at The Little Market.
Artisans working with Camaxtl in Mexico create beautiful pom pom and tassel blankets using acrylic yarn and cotton. To create each pom pom, yarn is carefully looped around nails on a small board. Tassels take 700 loops, and the round pom poms take 900 loops before being trimmed. Each pom pom and tassel blanket is made in approximately 15 hours, and it can take about three days to set up the loom for 60 blankets. Each pom pom and tassel blanket is exclusive to our collection at The Little Market.
Inspired Peru is an artisan cooperative consisting of 35 artisans; the majority are widows and heads of household from indigenous communities in the Peruvian highlands. Ethically sourced, local alpaca wool is used to craft products, such as stuffed animals and accessories, that celebrate the artisans’ ancestral and cultural heritage. The artisans generally work from the comfort of their home; however, they have access to a communal workshop in the city of Lima. At Inspired Peru, artisans are empowered to transmit their traditional skills to future generations while expanding their business and leadership skills. Artisans have access to skill development programs through Inspired Peru. We are proud to partner with artisans at Inspired Peru.
Kara Weaves is a social enterprise that is based out of Kerala, India and supports artisan weavers who are members of weaving cooperatives and who design contemporary home textiles. All of the hand-woven products, from coasters to napkins, are made from ancient and local fabrics, and these fair trade products are handmade at traditional wooden looms.Since February of 2013, Kara Weaves has been a member of the Fair Trade Forum of India, which is the country network of the World Fair Trade Organization and WFTO-Asia.
Macvilho was founded by a group of seven women artisans between the ages of 18 and 50 from the Mexican state of Chiapas. Through the creation of decorative accents and textiles, the artisans have preserved traditional Mayan techniques. Modern machinery is not used at any stage of the production cycle. Recently, the artisan co-operative has began integrating male artisans to focus on physically demanding tasks. The incorporation of men into the operation has improved the relationship between couples, strengthening communication, support, and understanding between men and women, thus promoting gender equity. Selling their goods to a global audience creates more employment opportunities for the artisans at Macvilho, allowing them to lead better lives supplemented by the additional income.