Who Made My Scarf?

The #Whomademyclothes campaign encourages us, as consumers, to ask how the items that we purchase are being made. At Wandering Heart, we want to be as transparent as possible and we want you, as the consumer, to know where and how your products have been created. 

All of our cotton scarves are handcrafted by our talented artisan partners in Mexico and Guatemala. If you have had the chance to check out our scarf collection you might have noticed that we currently stock two distinct styles of scarves. Some of our scarves feature more vibrant colours and intricate designs, while others feature softer colours and are more of a colour-block style. 

Here, we want to share with you the intricate process that is required to create our beautiful Ikat Cotton Scarves from Guatemala. These are the scarves which feature the vibrant colours and intricate designs that are created through a resist-dyeing technique which is referred to as Ikat. 

All of these cotton scarves are created using 100% natural dyes. The colours are created using ingredients that are sourced from nature, for example, in the image below, the red colour is achieved from crushing cochineal insects. 

The first step in the creation process of these beautiful scarves is to prepare the cotton for dyeing. Intricate knots are tied into the threads before dyeing, and the areas where the knots have been tied are resistant to soaking up the dyes. The women in the co-operative who take part in this stage of the creation process have varying levels of knowledge of the knot combinations, and so, this task is allocated to the weaving members based on the degree of difficulty that is required. 

Once the knots have been tied into the thread, the dyeing process begins. This part of the process is time consuming as the thread needs to be allowed to sit in the dye for a sufficient period of time to allow the colour to set. 

Once the threads have been dyed, and allowed to dry, they are then counted to ensure the correct number of threads are used for each scarf. 

The next step is to weave the material of the scarf. This is done on a backstrap loom which is pictured below. This is an intricate manual weaving technique. 

The final step in the process is the fringe detail which is tied by hand. Again, there are some women in the co-operative who specialise in this part of the process (or, as I found out - some of the women just don't like doing this part of the process at all, as it is so fiddly - so they insist on it being allocated to other members of the co-operative! This can lead to some friendly arguments about who gets allocated this job!). 

 

An incredible amount of skill, knowledge and time goes into creating each small batch of Wandering Heart scarves. Your purchase means aiding in the preservation of this incredible craftsmanship. 

The finished product! We hope that you have enjoyed learning a little more about how these incredible pieces of woven art are created. Each Wandering Heart scarf carries a great deal of skill and tradition with it and we are honoured that you carry a small part of that tradition with your purchase. 

Pure Cotton Scarf

Pure cotton scarf

 

 

 

 

   

 

Join the Wandering Heart tribe!

Sign up to our mailing list and receive 10% off your first order. We only send news-worthy emails - we promise!