Weaving and other textile arts in Guatemala are done by the indegenous people of that country. This art is learned within the home and workshop environment from a very early age. Because many Guatemalan weavers begin to weave when they are very young they often have great skill by the time they are fourteen or fifteen years old.
Weavers and other crafts people follow a long tradition of craft that dates to prehistoric times. The Spaniard colonization in the sixteenth century influenced the weaving of the indigenous people in many ways; the fibers used (the Spanish introduced the use of wool in weaving), the style of some garments, the decorative designs, and technology itself (the Spanish introduced treadle looms and spinning wheels.
The weaving of huipiles, a cottage industry has economically sustained Guatemalan indigenous people for centuries. This industry has always been controlled by women producing either for local or distant trade with other non-weaving indians. Only the huipil, or tunic, is backstrap woven, and it is this stand-out piece of clothing that we tend to visualize when we think of Guatemalan textiles. Employing a technique called brocading, in which extra threads are inserted into the warp during the process of weaving, women really display their gifts as weavers when they make their huipiles.
Women's Huipiles (blouse) are constructed by joining two or three panels of weaving which varies from place to place and without being tailored or fitted.
Ceremonial huipiles are of different lenghts and sometimes have different patterns from Huipiles used everyday. Guatemalan Indians who wear traditional costume wear it as everyday clothing and for special occasions. These traditional garments have intricate designs that may have required months to weave.
Today, looking at weaving in Guatemala is like looking at a piece of the past. The building of roads, new marketing patterns, tourism, greater bilingualism, factory-made clothing, new yarns and dyes are changing this art. This and all indegenous art forms in Guatemala are under stress as a result of globalization of the world's economy which is why owning part of this art is important as a Guatemalan, Non- Guatemalan, Historian and Collector or just a common person with love of weaving and history. To view our private collection please visit our Etsy page https://www.etsy.com/shop/Outonalimbgallery?ref=hdr_shop_menu