Textile Videos



Preparing seed cotton, spinning it with a hand supported spindle, dyeing yarns with vegetable dyes, and weaving of bags and hammocks on an indigenous vertical loom is a coastal Ecuadorian fiber art that has been transmitted by peasant women from generation to generation for millennia.   

This fiber art was still flourishing in 1976 when the author and producer of this documentary first encountered a weaving family and began to describe their rich textile tradition. Today, the spinning and weaving of the sturdy utilitarian items, formerly needed for a peasant way of life, is on the verge of disappearing altogether.

Through the lens of the last family of cotton textile practitioners to survive into the 21st century, the author presents a detailed view of this ancient, sophisticated technology and places it in its historical and pre-Hispanic contexts.

The video documents many rarely seen techniques of transforming seed cotton into a textile: beating the cotton; spinning with a horizontally held spindle; dyeing with fresh leaf indigo; creating float designs using multiple pattern heddle sticks; and using a hole and slot heddle in a unique way to create a finished edge. The author is the first to have documented the techniques of these artisans both in print and in video format.

At various points throughout the video, the factors leading to the demise of this ancient textile tradition are mentioned as well as recent efforts to revitalize and redirect it in order to safeguard the ancestral knowledge exemplified by this cotton fiber art.






Este documental narra la historia de una familia de hilanderas y tejedoras de algodón en la provincia de Manabí, Ecuador. La historia comienza en 1976 cuando la antropóloga cultural, Kathleen Klumpp, se encuentra por primera vez con doña Luz Párraga, una tejedora maestra del poblado del Zapote. El video narra la historia de esta artesanía desde la época precolombina hasta hoy en día.

Este vídeo representa la segunda parte de un documental que se trata de una artesanía milenaria de la Provincia de Manabí en la costa ecuatoriana…la de hilar y tejer con algodón nativo. Esta artesania se encuentra en vísperas de desaparecer. Esta obra representa mi esfuerzo a rescartar este conocimiento ancestral tan importante.

2 Responses to “Textile Videos”

  • Oscar Armando Vazquez says:

    Amazing I’m. Very interest in your work I’m a wever from Mexico and Im working with cotton. Spinning dying and weaving it I want same cotton seeds from the ecuatorian coast varieties how came can I get them ?

  • Kathleen says:

    Hola Oscar Armando,

    Hoy en dia, es muy dificil conseguir algodón debido a que casi no se siembra esta mata en la provincia de Manabí, Ecuador. Yo creo que seria posible conseguir algodon en semilla más cerca–en Oaxaca. Le doy una pista–es un video en YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qw4cTRqhn8A

    Espero que se siga adelantando en su artesanía.
    Saludos cordiales,

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