Set of 6 Handwoven Placemats - Nicaragua
Set of 6 handwoven placemats
These products are hand-made and environmentally-friendly. The fibers are sourced from a factory in El Salvador that takes old clothing and reduces it to the fiber materials. They don’t use any dyes and are giving these fibers new life. All of the production is done on food pedaled looms and sewing machines. This does not produce waste or use harmful chemicals.
* Fair Trade
* Eco Friendly
Story Behind the Art
Telares Indígenas Nicaragua is a small group of enterprising women weavers living in the village of El Chile, in the north of Nicaragua. They weave beautiful fabrics in vibrant colors from re-used cotton and sew them into bags and purses of all shapes and sizes.
Nicaragua has a centuries-old weaving tradition, but for a few decades in the 20th century, its people were forbidden by their government to practice the craft. Some speculate that the government wanted to free up labor to work in factories, while others call it a deliberate attempt to weaken indigenous culture. Whatever the reason, the prohibition was effective; no one dared defy the dictator.
When the Somoza regime was overthrown in 1979, the country's rich history of indigenous weaving might have remained lost were it not for the fortitude of the El Chile community and the efforts of an enterprising Argentine named Marta Ruíz - along with a little help from the revolutionary government.
The organization has changed their lives. Almost all of them own their own lands and homes, and they are able to support themselves and their families, even when the harvest is bad and others in the village are forced to seek work elsewhere. They can pay for doctors, school supplies, and transportation to send their children to schools that are free, but far away.
The older women, those originally trained by Marta and Plácida, are now passing their knowledge on to a new generation of weavers, and the art lives on.