Last Saturday I went to an event called Tejendo Justicia (“weaving justice”) at the MCCLA. The event was related to my fieldwork, and it turned out to be really interesting: there was a brief slide presentation & a display of textile handcrafts from Chiapas, Guatemala, Yucatan.
I was really impressed by the women-run cooperative Jolom Mayaetik (“Mayan Women Weavers”, in Tzotzil). Based in Chiapas (Mexico), the coop produces handmade textiles with traditional designs. I loved the color combinations, the designs, the feel of the cotton and the wool they use. Everything is handmade by them, they even dye all their fabrics and threads with natural dyes. They are currently archiving all their designs and color combinations in a book, which I found really interesting.
On top of that, they took control of the coop few years ago – it was formerly managed by men, but since the women were the ones weaving and embroidering, they decided to form their own coop and run it by themselves! Around 300 Mayan women from different villages work at Jolom Mayaetik.
The director, Celia, travels around to promote their work and sell the products. They are making a serious international marketing effort, establishing business relations abroad (they will be in Canada soon, schedule here). She said it’s hard to set the prices, as all the product are completely handmade and require many hours to be completed. I found their prices really fair.
I got myself a kitchen rag, but it’s so nice that I don’t want to use it!