Guatemalan Weaver Utilizing a Yarn Winder to Wrap Yarn Around Pegs on Warping Board

Guatemalan Woman creating a warp from thread on a yarn winder.

Guatemalan women have been weaving on backstrap looms for centuries. They first start with raw cotton that they clean, dye, and spin. The dry thread is wound around a yarn winder to keep it from tangling while they weave it in and out of the pegs on a warping board. This warp will be set on the bars of the backstrap loom, and then they can begin the process of weaving Huipils and other beautiful textiles.

Candis Krummel Winding Yarn Around Pegs on a Warping Board

Guatemalan women wind yarn around the pegs of a warping board to create the warp when weaving textiles on a backstrap loom.

For many generations the women of Guatemala have woven beautiful Huipils and other textiles on backstrap looms. They start with raw cotton to make the yarn. After the weaver has prepared the yarn the next step is to wind it around pegs on a warping board. The different colored strings are crossed at some points to separate the colors and create a striped pattern. This is called a ‘warp’ and it is attached to bars of the backstrap loom when it is finished. The length of the warp determines how long the textile will be.

Candis Krummel’s Weaving Center and Museum is a must-see if you are visiting Santiago Atitlan.

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.