A few months back the most wonderful young woman came into my shop. She spent a while exploring our yarns and weavings with a look of wonder upon her face. When we got to chatting and I could tell she was falling in love with the world of textiles.

Maria José came back a few weeks later and signed up for a class. It turned out she had taken up knitting since we last spoke and had already created a couple scarves and was working on a blanket. In class, for her first weaving ever, she chose a pattern inspired by her home country, Chile. The complexity of her design, her enthusiasm and determination intrigued me.

MJ's Weaving
MJ, as we often call her, didn’t know at the time, but I was trying to figure out some way to continue her textile education. A few weeks later, I got a call from a wonderful woman and friend who is equally interested in MJ’s fiber future and offered to gift her a second weaving class. MJ accepted graciously.

During lunch one day at her second class, MJ  found an incredible article on a Chilean website. (It takes a while to download, so be patient.) This is something I’m sure I wouldn’t have been able to find on my own. This article or rather, book, beautifully describes traditional Southern Chilean weaving, spinning and dyeing in Spanish, English and through photographs.

Chilean WeavingI’m sharing this with you, in hopes that you will share this with others. In my opinion, there aren’t enough publications like this out there. Every region, every style of weaving, every collection of techniques should be documented like this and shared with the world.  I, once again, must thank the inventor of the World Wide Web for making information like this accessible to everyone (who can find it and has Internet, of course). I would also like to think MJ for sharing this with me so that I can share it with you.

By the end of her second class, I realized that encouraging Maria José’s love for textiles is not only important for her, but also myself. Before MJ left that last day, I asked her to be my first apprentice. I can’t wait to share with you how this all unfolds.

Ciao,
Teresa and all of us here at Weaving Southwest

PS Take a look at this article. In the comment section of this blog post, please let us know what you think. Does this inspire you? Did you learn something? Are there other articles like this out there that we may not know about that you would like to share? Thank you!

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2 comments on “How to Weave the Chilean Way

    • Thank you, Sandy! I hope to have more posts like this in the future. I will make sure to post about Maria Jose. She is an incredible woman and I am so excited to be working with her!

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