Recently a team of students and faculty from the textile department at Kansas State University traveled to Guatemala on a study tour with Education And More to learn backstrap weaving, ikat dyeing and natural dyeing of yarn from our Mayan artisans.
The first part of the week each of the students were paired up with one of our Mayan artisans to begin the process of learning the art of backstrap weaving. The artisans we work with are masters on the backstrap loom since most of them began learning how to weave when they were about seven years old. At first the women and the students were quiet but as they got to know each other lots of laughter could be heard throughout the work room and outdoors under the trees even though most didn't know the others language.
The first process the students learned of backstrap weaving was how to warp yarns to put on the loom. The women made it look so easy as they wound the yarn on the warping board but as the students soon learned it was not that easy on the first try!
Backstrap weaving, the trip participants soon learned, is not mastered easily but step by step they slowly learned that they could actually produce a beautiful textile. From anchoring the warp to the front and back bars to making string heddles they were amazed how it all came together.
Enjoy our photo gallery of the KSU students during their trip to Guatemala to learn backstrap weaving and contact us so we can develop a special trip for your university textile department or your weaving guild.