The textile tradition goes back more than 3,000 years performed by the Mayan civilization, which has been documented in arqueological pieces like ceramic figures, where you can see Mayan women wearing huipiles.
Throughout the years, these special pieces have had several transformations. The ancestral Mayan culture and the influence of textile production after the Spanish conquest unite together.
Each handmade huipil takes an average of three months to do, made from thousands of colorful threads. They have their own special meaning in form, color and figures. They incorporate different symbols reflecting certain places, objects and rituals that have importance to the culture. According to the Mayan beliefs, they worshiped different Gods which are represented in special details of the huipiles. The collar, for example, stands for “Kinich Ahau” –The God of the Sun-. In others, you can see volcanoes, lakes or the Quetzal (the national Guatemalan bird that represents freedom and had spiritual meanings to the Mayans). The only places in the world where huipiles are created are the south of Mexico and Guatemala.
Nowadays in Guatemala there is a diversity of designs, colors and meanings of traditional garments; including huipiles. Almost each town of the country has its own pattern. Every thread and every form tells you the story of the place it belongs to. Each item from k’amo comes with a certification card of authenticity, which explains specifically the meaning of the used huipil in that piece.
Image credit: United Church on Flickr.
The weaving process named Telar, or treadle loom, is still widely used in Guatemala. The fabric is made by hand and foot operated machines. The original design of the device reaches back to Europe centuries ago.
With the telar you create a variety of patterns in different forms and colors. Some of the pieces you can make from it are “cortes”, which are the women skirts that belong to the traditional garments of Guatemala.
This machine is operated by one person and involves a big effort to create one piece. Therefore, as huipiles, the articles made by the telar do not belong to a mass production process and remain also as unique.
In k’amo we only use a wide variety of high quality cow leather. In each piece, we include an original sample tag to show you the quality and texture of this important material.