San Andrés de Larrainzar, Chiapas
1 day to complete each piece of textile
Meet the weavers of San Andrés
The textiles you see in our boots are made by hand in the Chiapan Highlands in a small village of 2,400 people called San Andrés Larráinzar. The people from this village are part of the Tzotil indigenous Maya people and speak one of six dialects of the Tzotil language. They weave to provide an extra income for their families that otherwise rely on subsistence farming.
Paying them a fair wage and providing a platform to bring their products to market empowers these women to provide additional income and support the wellbeing of their families. In working with this group of artisans we allowed them to determine a fair price for their work. For each piece of textile we pay 60% more than the usual selling price to guarantee these artisans are fairly compensated for their work.
Designs inspired by Mayans
Each design starts with the ‘muestraio’, a long thin piece of textile that showcases their designs one after another. The ‘muestrario’ from each village will be unique and passed down from generation to generation. Every design is steeped in history, and every symbol brings with it meaning from the ancient Mayan culture. Most of the designs from San Andrés de Larráinzar are focused around a diamond which in Mayan culture symbolises the shape of the universe.
These intricate designs are labours of love. In our boots we use pieces of textile than measure 10cm x 15cm. Each of these individual pieces take a weaver one full day to complete. Depending on the design we will us either 2 or 4 of these pieces in a pair of our boots.
The women of this village use a traditional method of backstrap weaving to produce the intricate textile designs. It is a simple method, started thousands of years ago, that the women set-up at home by fixing one end to a tree or post and then passing a belt round their back to control the tension of the loom.
They often work together in small groups outside their homes. The group of artisans that we work with includes 18 different members, with the elder members having 20-25 years' experience weaving and the younger members learning their craft.
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