Our luxurious bedcover is woven using the same technique as Mayan huipil blouses. Mayan women traditionally use a back-strap loom to weave textiles for their familiesblankets and bedcovers, blouses and skirts. They sit outdoors with one end of the loom attached to a tree branch and the other around their hips as they kneel and rock to the movement of the shuttle raveling thread across the weft of the fabric.
The cotton bedcover consists of several backstrap-loom woven panels that are finished with extraordinary blocks of brocade at the head and foot. Each panel is woven separately, then decoratively hand-stitched to its neighbor in contrasting thread colors.
The handcrafted nature of the materials ensures that no two pieces are exactly identical.
100% cotton. Handmade in Zacualpa, Guatemala. Dry clean, or wash in cold water and line dry.
Queen: 90”W x 104 3/4"L King: 108"W x 104 3/4"L
Maya mythology says that the sun and moon goddess Ixchel (pronounced Ik-shell) gave the gift of weaving to the Maya. She is the benefactor of weavers as well as of pregnant women, and her ancient craft is still central to women’s lives throughout Guatemala. Garments are especially important, as their colorful patterns show off not only the weaver's skill, but also let others know what village she is from. This tradition was started by Spanish officials to aid tax collection, and was a form of identification during recent civil wars, but many indigenous women wear their village’s pattern as a matter of local pride.
Many Mayan women sell their old woven garments in the weeks leading up to the patron saint day of their village to finance the purchase of a new huipil or corte for the fiesta. Finding a new use for these handcrafted fabrics not only allows their beauty to be appreciated by new audiences, but also helps extend the market for this ancient skill and creates jobs in rural villages.
This luxurious 100% cotton bedcover was developed from the traditional huipils or blouses of Mayan women from the mountainous village of Zacualpa. The women of Zacualpa wear some of the brightest huipils in the western highlands, with a vivid purple yoke and red body with green and white stripes, although our bedcover is primarily rich earth tones.