Guest post by Kate Myerscough
Textiles have always been a connecting force between different places, reaching back to the ancient silk roads and beyond. Now, one of the latest instances where worlds collide through textiles comes from the Australian homeware brand Pampa. Woven in Argentina and sold in Australia, the company demonstrates a true collaboration between these two nations, echoing the more personal partnership of its cofounders; Argentinian Victoria Aguirre and Australian Carl Wilson. Giving its local artisans access to the international craft market, Pampa relies on an entirely handmade process of spinning, dyeing and weaving in Argentina.
In the Quechua language, the word pampa itself means ‘fertile land between the mountains’, and it is truly of this fertile land where the Pampa vision is born. Each collective of weavers from Sur, Puna, Monte and Patagonia give a different character to each of their collections through their choices of colour and yarns. Each artisan weaves a sense of place, from the bright colours of Monte weaving that represent the insects and flowers found in their dry forests, to the geometric shapes of Puna reflecting its mountainous landscape.
The mostly natural dyes Pampa use lead to a spectrum of earthy tones in the textiles, the designs reflecting both the heritage of the communities and the weavers themselves. For example, they have created a collection of mini-rugs, woven by a group of older artisans at a time when they could no longer weave large rugs but did not yet wish to step away from the loom.
Although Pampa products are made in Argentina, it is in Australia where they are embraced. Here is a marriage of two worlds that otherwise may have little connection, and with so many traditional techniques being practiced worldwide now, Pampa only adds to this ever-evolving network of crafts, held together, as always, by textiles.