The third exhibition of our Raiding the Crates permanent collection series features a Central American art form: Guatemalan Textiles. There are many unique aspects to this art form, and one is the way it is made. The backstrap loom dates back to ancient civilizations, and is used widely by Mayan cultures.
|The backstrap loom is the most widely used loom by Guatemalan weavers, and has always been closely associated with females and birth, children. (image source)|
|Looms work on the basis premise of weaving the|
warp and weft. Weft is the yarn going parallel to the weaver,
and warp is the perpendicular yarn (image source).
The backstrap loom has been used by Mayan weavers for at least 2,000 years! Traditional stories liken the human body to a woven fabric.(image source).
Traditional communities use hand-made yarn, like hand-spun cotton, which is more fragile than conventionally produced yarn, so it goes through a special strengthening process so that they will not snap during the weaving process. They also primarily use natural dyes.(image source).
Below is video of traditional Guatemalan weaving using a backstrap loom.
Jan. 19 – May 26