Archive for the ‘Travel Stories’ Category

A Resounding Success: 2015 Summer Textile Apprenticeship Program

The two fiber artisans that I chose to travel to Manabí province in coastal Ecuador to learn the pre-Columbian spinning and weaving techniques of the ancient Manteño and their forebearers turned out to be terrific apprentices.   Janet and Amber, both hailing from northern California, quickly learned the traditional coastal Manabí methods of spinning,  dyeing using fresh leaf indigo and weaving on a vertical loom.   Read the rest of this entry »

For Spin-Off readership:

I am delighted that you want to check out the video, The Ancient Cotton Fiber Art of Manabí Province, Coastal Ecuador.   Here it is  for your viewing pleasure.  Enjoy!

If after watching it you are moved to want to help me in my endeavors to help safeguard this ancient pre-Columbian artisan tradition, please contact me via the contact page so that we can discuss the possible forms that your help might  take.   Thanks you,  Kathleen


Textile apprenticeship opportunity in coastal Ecuador-summer 2015


This summer in July, I will be returning to coastal Ecuador.  I am looking for ONE or at most, TWO women who already have some experience working with cotton fiber who would seriously like to learn the coastal Ecuadorian technology presented in the films.   If so, how would you like to accompany me in mid July for two weeks for an informal apprenticeship with coastal artisans in Manabí Province?








We will learn their cotton preparation and spinning techniques as well as how to weaveIMG_0255 on a vertical loom, apprenticing with the last weaver in the province who knows how to execute the traditional designs as well as from a weaver of hammocks, and from cotton spinners.

This is an unprecedented opportunity for the right woman for fun, learning and adventure.   My friend, the weaver Laverne Waddington accompanied me in 2007.  We had a blast.

Laverne learning how to spin--coastal Ecuadorian style

Laverne learning how to spin–coastal Ecuadorian style

I am unlikely to offer this again.  I am doing so now in an attempt to help revitalize this weaving tradition, on the verge of extinction, by providing some work for the last practitioners of this fiber art in Manabí Province.

Each apprentice would return home with her own wall hanging patterned in traditional geometric motifs that she played a role in weaving.

IMG_1588For the interested student, there is also the possibility of learning the ancient methods of indigo dyeing used by the great great grandmothers in this region–a method that is unique in the worldwide literature on indigo dyeing.

Fresh leaf indigo

Fresh leaf indigo

While knowledge of Spanish would be helpful, it is not a prerequisite as I will serve as interpreter.  However, what is more important is that the person be positive, easy-going and flexible, both mentally and physically so as to be able to savor, rather than complain about rustic living in the countryside of coastal Ecuador.


You will not be staying in a 5 star hotel, but in Doña Luz’s home or in her daughter-in-law’s home next door.  You will have your own bed with a mattress, and sleep under mosquito netting.   There is an indoor flush toilet and shower with hot water.  We will eat meals prepared by Doña Luz’s daughter-in-law.   You will drink water that has been purified.

However, I need to emphasize that this is not a tour, nor am I serving as a tour guide. I also assume no liability for any mishaps, or for your health.  However, if you are my traveling companion and living and learning as an apprentice alongside of me,  I can assure you that all measures to protect your health and safety will be taken as I normally do for myself.  You will be responsible for covering the cost of your own transportation and living expenses in-country plus providing a modest fee to be determined paid directly to the artisans in exchange for their sharing of their knowledge and expertise with you.  You would also be paying a very modest fee for having your meals prepared.


Doña Luz's home

Doña Luz’s home

In order to get an idea of where you would be living and what you would learning, view The Ancient Cotton Fiber Art of Manabí Province, Coastal Ecuador.

If you are seriously interested in participating and believe that you may be the right person for this adventure,  you may contact me via this blog in order to start a private e-mail communication.  Go to the blue “contact” tab on the main page.