Lidia Lopez Demonstrating the Backstrap Loom Method of Weaving

Lidia Lopez is a Mayan woman who lives in San Antonio Aguas Calientes, Guatemala. Here she is demonstrating the backstrap loom, a method of weaving Maya Indians have used for centuries to create beautiful textiles. She not only teaches visitors how to weave, she also dedicates most of her time teaching the children in Guatemala. Weaving is important to the Mayan culture because it is the method used to make the peoples’ traditional clothing, called traje. Also, it is a source many Guatemalan women rely on to support their families financially.

Lidia Lopez Showing Textiles she has Woven and Telling a Little About Herself and her Background.

Lidia Lopez is a Mayan woman from San Antionio Aguas Calientes, Guatemala. She has been weaving all her life and now teaches children in Guatemala the art of weaving on a backstrap loom. She also teaches at universities around the world.

Lidia Lopez Explaining Symbols on Huipils & Their Origins

Lidia Lopez is a Mayan woman from Guatemala. She has been weaving on a backstrap loom for many years, and today she teaches others around the world the art of weaving. Here she is showing huipils from San Pedro Sacatepequez, Tecpan, Tamahu, and San Martin Jilotepeque.  Each village has a different style of weaving and the symbols they use can help identify their origin. They are the same symbols and patterns the Mayans have used for centuries.

Lidia Lopez Explaining the Meanings of the Patterns on a Huipil from Patzicia.

Lidia Lopez is a Mayan woman from Guatemala. Here she is showing a huipil from Patzicia, Chimaltenango and giving the meaning to each symbol in the pattern. Each village has a different style and the symbols on the huipils can tell what area it is from. This huipil is for sale and you can find it under the ‘Patzicia’ category in the ‘Huipil’ section of this site.

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.