Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 August, 14:00 - 17:00 BST, White on White Backstrap Weaving with Concepcion Tharin from Guatemala
Saturday 28 & Sunday 28 August 2021, 14:00 - 17:00 BST (British Summer Time, GMT + 1)
Online workshop, hosted on Zoom by Concepcion Tharin
Concepción, or Concep for short, is a Q’eqchi’ Mayan woman from the village of Samac near Cobán, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. Taught by her mother and sister to weave at age eight, she has mastered her local style, an intricate gauze-like weave called pikb’il. Traditional back-strap weaving is one of the few sources of income for the women of her village, though each blouse takes a month to weave. By selling her textiles, Concepción was able to fund her education. With other women in her village she founded and was selected as the first president of the village’s first women’s weaver cooperative. As such she helped start an association of artists and artisans of all kinds from her area. With them she participated in many festivals and demonstrations around her area and her country in an effort to secure weaving as a sustainable source of income. Now living in Florida, she demonstrates and teaches backstrap weaving, bringing this ancient tradition to life for people in the U.S. Her own textiles preserve traditional designs to honour her ancestors.
Outline of workshop
During this workshop, Concepcion will guide you through weaving on a traditional Mayan back-strap loom in the white-on-white style of pikb’il, specific to her area in Guatemala.
Participants will receive a 45cm wide Mayan back-strap loom, pre-warped with the weaving already started. The fine cotton thread of the warp has been soaked in corn-starch to prevent breaking during the weaving process. Participants will notice the stiffness of the warp threads when they unroll their looms.
The workshop will start by teaching you to tie your loom and position your back-strap for comfortable weaving. You will learn the basic plain weave process on the back-strap loom and how to make one small row of the traditional diamond design in the pikb’il style.
It is unlikely that you complete the entire weave in the 3 hour workshop; however, you will be well on your way to completing a beautiful and delicate piece of fabric suitable for being a small table runner or a placemat, or you can leave it on the loom as a wall-hanging.
This workshop is open to all levels. Participants will receive a pdf file with detailed step-by-step instructions for how to complete the weaving process.
*The workshop will be recorded and made available to participant*
A material pack will be sent to participants prior to the workshop containing:
Handmade Mayan back-strap loom kit. Full list of parts from top of loom to bottom, sticks are 45cm long:
- Tying cord
- 3 end bars
- 2 shed rods
- Heddle rod
- 2 battens: one thick, and one thin for finishing
- Shuttle: pre-threaded
- Bamboo stretcher with thorns, 30cm long
- Back strap
- Fine, white 100% cotton thread, pre-warped with the weave started (dimensions of woven fabric when finished is 55cm x 30cm)
- A small amount of white thread for weaving the design
- Printed Diagram of loom set-up
Please note: material packages are shipped on an insured, trackable delivery service. Any customs duties, delays, lost or undeliverable packages are the responsibility of the customer. Once a material package leaves the workshop tutors' hands with a tracking number, the seller has no further obligation to the buyer.
Participants will need to provide:
- A secure place to tie the loom (a post, large nail or hook secured to a stud in the wall, even a tree). Ideally the height of where you tie the loom should be about 115-120cm
- A comfortable chair or stool with no armrests and no wheels
Workshop Cancellation Policy
All places reserved on workshops are non refundable.
If you require additional information about this workshop please contact Catherine Harris, firstname.lastname@example.org.