Guatemalan Woman Winding Spun Cotton Thread Around a Spindle

Guatemalan Woman Winding Spun Cotton Thread Around Spindle Before Weaving on Backstrap Loom

The beautiful Huipils and other textiles made by the Mayan women of Guatemala are all hand made. The first step in the process is to clean and spin raw cotton into thread. The thread is then dyed and wrapped around a spindle so it can be managed easier when weaving on a backstrap loom.

Guatemalan woman making thread from cotton

Guatemalan woman making thread from cottonThe Guatemalan woman in this photo is making thread from cotton.  The cotton is pulled and spun creating a continuous thread that is then dyed and finally used to create the beautiful huipils that we offer to you on this website.

Guatemalan Woman Preparing the Raw Cotton for Weaving

Guatemalan woman preparing raw cotton for weavingThe women in Guatemala often use raw cotton when weaving textiles.  They must first prepare the cotton by picking out the seeds, cleaning it, and then beating it with forked sticks.  Then they can spin it into yarn and dye the threads with natural dyes: indigo to produce blue colors, cochineal for red, etc.