Hello again dear friends of Loom Tree! I write to you once more from beautiful and sunny Antigua Guatemala. In my last entry I wanted to speak a little bit on the amazing heritage of the Mayan weaving that has informed and inspired my own creations. Today I find myself looking to the future, and I’d like to begin with a quote we shared on social media recently. Originally said by Lily Reich in 1926: “Virtually no other industry can generate so many productive achievements, technical ideas, and gleaming new materials, and have at its disposal such skill and taste.” Of course she is referring to the textile industry which is one of humanity’s longest endeavors.
Since the beginning of our history human-kind has been weaving and creating textiles, first as a means to shield our bodies from the elements, and later to enhance our surroundings. Since then our species has endured seismic changes as our history ebbed and flowed over time, yet the production of textiles remained a constant. Guatemala has to this day one of the oldest-living textile traditions on Earth. However, this tradition is currently struggling to remain relevant as the rapid progress of Central America is quickly changing the day-to-day reality of its people. Central to this tradition is the passing down of weaving techniques from one generation to the other, but with the newer generation being more interested in engaging in the newer markets that are available to them, the passing down of these techniques is ending within many families.
Despite this challenge, traditions that have endured for thousands of years have their own ways of surviving, and our work here at Loom Tree is one example of this resilience. Especially in foreign markets, but even here at the local level, traditional weaving is sometimes seen as too “ethnic” to pair well with contemporary interiors. I fully rebuke this assessment, and I prove every day that textiles made by traditional means are still relevant, and can actually greatly enhance a modern space. After all, the human eye greatly enjoys taking in complexity, and there is something very satisfying about admiring an intricately woven textile. Therefore, we spent the month of February visiting the homes of some of our clients and friends who have used our textiles to great effect within their modern spaces. Please enjoy this selection of photographs that hopefully showcase just how successfully these handmade textiles can be used in a modern home.
As always, thank you for reading.