4. Preparing the loom
Preparing the loom consists of measuring and tying on the warp threads, and making sure all threads and parts are aligned properly. The weavers count all the thread to have the right measurement for what they what to weave.
The women use backstrap looms. The sit and usually tie up one side of their loom from a three and the other goes to her back so she can manage the applied tensión on the loom. A kaftan (huipil) is created by passing a bobbin through the warp threads, shifting the warp threads with the machete (a tool made with wool by a man in the town which has a blade shape), and repeating - the strongest is the hit the more structure the huipil has. As the design calls for different colors, thread with individual colors are passed through the warp for length required to make the patterns and motifs needed. Sometimes dozens of thread pieces with different colors are in play at one time.
6. Final Touches
When a piece is finished, the artisans cut the textile created from the reaming threads to remove it from the loom. As they have a large panel of textile, the second part is to sew the panels together. The time it takes depends on the number of panels and length of the panel. A single panel could take from 3 days to 1 week. The three panel styles take almost two weeks. The weavers sew the panels by hand with needle and with an special macramé technique. The piece is then washed very carefully and with nautral soap then dried ironed.