Fundación Artesanías de Chile’ (Crafts of Chile Charity) is a private non-profit entity that began in 2002, as part of the charities network of Chilean Republic Presidency. Their mission is to preserve Chilean cultural identity and create opportunities for cultural and economic development for traditional artisans, understanding that craftsmanship is a productive activity that sustains many families, especially in rural locations. They work with the traditional craftsmanship and environment of Chile; oral traditions and expressions, social practices, rituals and festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature in different safeguarding activities. They do this through identification, documentation and research of traditional crafts.‘Artesanías de Chile’ works with all kind of traditional crafts techniques, mainly textiles (alpaca, lama, sheep wool), basketry, wood, pottery, silversmith’s, copper art, horsehair miniatures, amongst others. Their work is guided by Fair Trade and they are certified by the World Fair Trade Organisation, WTFO.The artisans that make up ‘Artesanías de Chile’ network are the centre of Chile's cultural heritage. Th network of artisans has been selected by a committee of experts, who oversee the work done by the representative of the cultural heritage. It has more than 2,300 artisans; 77% live in rural areas, away from trade links and economic integration opportunities, 83% are women and 57% belong to one of the 9 native groups recognised by the State of Chile.Among the varied range of crafts and traditions that constitute the foundation, for Selvedge 2020 fair, a wonderful selection of textiles was chosen, all of them coming from the island of Chiloé. Chiloé is an archipelago located in the south of Chile, in the northern area of Patagonia. For a long time the island lived in total isolation from the rest of Chile which caused the Chiloé people (called “chilotes”) to generate their own culture. Among all the aspects that distinguish Chiloé, crafts are very important. Crafts that have resulted from years of living in a rainy and cold climate, using what nature has to offer. Wood, vegetable fibres and wool were, for a long time, the materials that were used to build houses, make utensils, create tools and weave everything necessary to create shelter. Although today greater connectivity has led to the gradual loss of this isolation, it is a territory of unique cultural wealth, with artisans committed to keeping their craft alive. Those customs, traditions and ways of being are fighting to stay alive today.Before the Spanish colonisation, there were no sheep in South America. The first to reach the Island of Chiloé were brought in 1568 from Peru by Francisco de Castañeda for the foundation of the port of Castro (current capital of the island). They were descendants of Spanish sheep that were raised in the Antilles since the second voyage of Columbus. It is not ruled out that some examples arrived on the ships that used to stop in Chiloé, after crossing the Strait of Magellan.Over the years, these Spanish sheep acquired their own characteristics given by the climatic and geographical conditions of Chiloé, becoming a breed in itself. The so-called "Chilota sheep" is a rustic animal, very adapted to the limited resources for trackers in the region (Northern Patagonia). They have evolved to consume algae at low tides and have built a resistance to diseases caused by the archipelago's high humidity rates. In fact, studies concluded that the Chilote sheep has a genetic structure similar to the Iberian sheep, especially with the Castilian sheep, from Spain. There are residents of Chiloé who identify it as “La negra” (“the black sheep”), because it of its dark brown, black or grey wool stained with black and white, in contrast to the light grey or white hue of other races.Having lived for centuries in complete isolation from continental Chile (the island was annexed to the country at the beginning of the 19th century), the inhabitants of Chiloé developed a self-sustaining way of life: next to their houses they usually have an orchard and animals, among them, their own sheep. Thus, textile artisans usually shear their sheep during the summer time and save the fleece to work on their own pieces. Nowadays, those who don't have sheep of their own, are supplied by the Wool Bank that ‘Fundación Artesanías de Chile’ founded in 2016, connecting wool producers in the area with artisans who need the raw material to develop their textile art. The Wool Bank markets the fleece following Fair Trade principles.In the ‘Chilote’ houses, textiles were woven in 'kelgwos', as they call a large horizontal loom built in the home - usually in their living room - where they made rugs, ‘choapinos’, blankets, shawls, and sashes. To make the yarns, women sometimes performed 'spinning mingas’, in which they gathered to spin the wool of the housewife. Today, these tasks are maintained by very few women and are rarely passed down to new generations. But there is a type of textile that still persists, which, thanks to its material quality and uniqueness, still allows us to marvel: the Flower Blanket or ‘Brocado’ blanket from Chiloé. Due to their condition, they are used in the beds between the sheets and their covers. This function has protected them from the rigours of time and has also kept them hidden, so they are almost unknown to all those who are not part of a traditional Chiloé family. They are large fabrics, richly adorned with flowers, birds and all kinds of figures, made with various textile techniques. The inheritance of this profession persists in a small group of artisans.