Posted on 03 July 2017
Our guest blogger Kathy McHenry, is a textile enthusiast in Northern California and friend of Mayan Hands. She uses cinta she purchases from our artisan partners in Chirijquiac to embellish the home goods and apparel she creates from repurposed cortes (skirts woven on the foot loom and worn by Mayan women). Shown in the photographs below are examples of her work in which cinta brings colorful energy to her designs. market bags, aprons, pillows and tablecloths - all benefit from the intricate patterns of cinta, which add a layer of complexity to the already rich and vibrant corte.
Since her first trip to Guatemala in 2007 with Aiko Kobayashi Gray, a tapestry artist and Guatemala guide, Kathy has returned many times. In 2016, while traveling on a Mayan Hands Fair Trade trip, the cinta made a lasting impression and she now incorporates it in her work which she sells at local crafts and quilt fairs as AzureBlue Textiles. Read more about her work at azurebluetextiles.com.
New to Mayan Hands website are colorful and skillfully woven cintas, sold by the yard. Originally part of Mayan women's traditional dress and typically worn as hair ribbons, the tiny tapestries capture the color and complex designs of Guatemalan weaving.
These beautiful cintas are woven by women in a remote village in the Western Highlands of Guatemala where Mayan Hands works with weavers to develop markets for their work. Woven on a belt loom in 20 yard lengths, a cinta can require weeks to complete depending upon the width and complexity.
At the 2017 International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe, NM on July 14, 15 & 16, these cintas will embellish the Guatemalan hooked rugs of Multicolores, a featured artisan group. The women of Multicolores create intricate and colorful hooked rugs inspired by the symbols and motifs found in their huipiles (traditional blouses). Used to tie up the rugs at the time of sale, the cintas will provide a layered message of color and craft. During the upcoming months, cintas will travel with rugs - into homes, studios and offices - higlighting the rich color and design choices of the artisans of the Multicolores Cooperative.
You can enhance your own sewing and quilting projects with the work of traditional Mayan weavers, choosing from among 4 woven patterns in two widths (1/4" and 1/2"): traditional rainbow, rainbow corona, muted tones with slit weave and even one woven with recycled denim thread. Colorfast, gorgeous and woven by hand, cintas are waiting for you on the Mayan Hands website in the Supplies to Do it Yourself section.