Our bamboo scarves are made by a cooperative of 180 women from the highlands of Guatemala. Twenty-two years ago the women came together for safety and support during the dangerous days of the Civil War. Today, many of their daughters have taken a leadership role in the organization. Their track record of professionalism, from product development to business skills, allows them to earn two to four times what a weaver might earn producing on her own for the local market. In addition, co-op members work from home where they also manage their domestic duties: caring for their families and tending their gardens. Income earned through the sale of this bamboo scarf allows them access to a better diet, medical services and helps keep their children in school.
- The yarn is carefully wound into skeins holding just enough threads for one scarf; too little thread creates a rejected scarf because it doesn't fit the size criterion, too many threads causes waste.
- After tying the skein to prevent tangling, the skeins are delivered to the dyers who employ a dip dying technique resulting in a pleasing, watercolor affect of hues and tones from using a only few dyes. After careful rinsing to rid the dye, the skeins are laid in the sun to dry.
- Once dry, the skeins are delivered to the weavers. The weavers assess the skein colors to maximize the 'flow' of color by manipulating the yarn on her loom resulting in an optimal blend of color combinations.
Bamboo fibers are often compared to silk because they feel both warm and cool to the touch.