The Bamboo Scarf Weavers of Guatemala

The Bamboo Scarf Weavers of Guatemala

Posted by Mary Anne Wise on 20th Aug 2019

The Bamboo scarf weavers, Association de Maya in Guatemala is one of the longest organized cooperatives we’ve had the privilege of working with. Originally, the women banned together for safety and support during the Guatemalan civil war…. and now many of their daughters are taking on leadership roles within the organization. 

It Starts With Winding the Warp. 

Warp threads are the threads that dress the loom. The number of threads are carefully calculated for the specific width of each scarf. In the photo below, this young woman is winding warps for 6 scarves.

Space Dyed Yarns. 

the yarn dying in various color dye baths.


What makes each bamboo scarf unique is the water-color affect achieved by dipping the bundles of warp threads into a variety of colors. The colors ‘bleed’ into one another creating a color combination unique to each scarf.

above: yarn drying

Preparing the Warp Threads for the Loom
After the warps have been dyed, the women place the colorful thread bundles on a tool called a swift. Next, they wind the warps onto a pegged warping board to separate layers of threads in preparation for threading the loom.

The Loom

A backstrap loom is nothing more then a collection of sticks. Yet the level of woven sophistication and artistry achieved is astounding!


View the scarves online!