Monday, September 26, 2011


One of the things I like about Cuenca, is that the Chamber of Commerce recognizes the tiny community of extrajernos and is making an effort to help us become aquainted with our new home. The way they do this is to offer field trips to businesses around the Cuenca area that we might enjoy learning about. The Ikat Weavers is a prime example.  This is the Entrance to the Macana Weavers just between Paute and Gualeceo.

Tiny threads waiting for dye and weaving

Explaining how they separate the threads, wrap groups in a wide plastic tie, and then dye the threads..

These ladies were very busily tying the threads per a pattern

This is a very very old loom that the Spanish brought with them.. it is still used

This is all wool he is weaving. We were told that this material was used as diapers at one time.

He has foot pedals on this loom as well and the shifting on on the top.
In each pot is a different medium to create the colors, bugs, plants and volcanic rock!
Telling about the plants they use for colors
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 Thread all dyed, waiting to be woven   

Original looms passed down through the family

He is strapped in and sitting on a leather "saddle" type seat.

 This is the dress of his Grandmother, she did all this on the loom. No knitting or crocheting to make the open work design

These shawls take approx. 2 weeks to weave, scarves 2 days.

It was a great time, I would like to return again.


  1. Fantastic Karen. I'm sorry I missed this trip. I'll be there for 5 weeks beginning Oct. 7th. Weaving is something I've wanted to learn for years. Gotta get settled first though. Best, LT Murphy

  2. Well when you get here, give me a holler, I will drag you off to our weaving class and you can check it out!

  3. What an interesting trip, and how cool is it that the Cuenca Chamber of Commerce is spearheading this idea!

  4. I am sorry I missed this trip too. You said you want to go again...let me know and we can go together. Great post! S

  5. Dear Karen and Randy,
    Thanks so much for exploring day-to-day life as you do in this blog. I'm still a couple of decades away from retirement, but as I research future options Cuenca pops up again and again. It's nice to know that people there are politely reserved yet welcoming, a combination I very much like, as it reflects my own personality. I'll keep reading your blog and I wish you both the best of luck.

    Rafael in the US Midwest