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Mapuche Weaving from Chile

We are very excited about the return of Liz Beasley of Ananuca to Fair and Fabulous who will be running a Mapuche Weaving Workshop in our upstairs room on Wednesday 18th May. This was a highly successful workshop when Liz ran it last year and all the participants thoroughly enjoyed their day.

I first met Liz a number of years ago when we were trading at the Wales Fair Trade Fair, organised by Love Zimbawe directors, Martha and Dave Holman. It’s a celebration of all things Fair Trade which happens every year at the beginning of October. I was immediately struck with the beautiful Chilean textiles that Liz had on her stall, gorgeous rugs, throws, scarves, shawls and ponchos in the most stunning colours that are handwoven and dyed with natural plant dyes.

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Liz and her husband David established Ananuca in 2009, to bring to the UK the very best of Chilean artisan design. They specialise in products that are handmade, Fair Trade (they are a BAFTS registered supplier and retailer) and from rural areas where traditional techniques of the skilled artisan are practiced in their own homes.

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Liz developed her passion for Chile and the beautiful textiles the women of the region were producing whilst doing her doctoral research with small scale organic farmers in Southern Chile. She was so drawn to the work of the artisans and their skilled weaving that she decided the benefits she could make to these women in small communities outweighed the potential benefits to be gained through academic research. We are very pleased Liz chose the former!

Whilst working with the artisans she took time to learn the traditional Mapuche weaving techniques by one of her Chilean suppliers, Jessica. At home she constructed a loom from ash branches, a couple of old fence posts and a broom handle! She has a loom that reflects the Mapuche ethos that of ‘making do’ and it looks pretty good too!

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You can join Liz (there are a couple places left as I write this blog) to learn the traditional art of Mapuche weaving. She will be showing you how to make these lovely woven textiles using a simple loom constructed from inexpensive, recycled or natural materials. Here are a couple of examples of what the workshop students produced at the last workshop.

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The colours of the wool are fantastic, it’s no wonder the participants enjoyed producing such beautiful works of art. So if you fancy having a go at Mapuche weaving it’s worth contacting Liz at Ananuca!