An up-and-coming market for fashion and interiors textiles, Guatemala is producing some of the world’s most intrinsically-patterned cotton fabrics, rich in natural dyes. Here are three mills leading the material revolution in Central America.
La Casa began in 1994 as a retail store in Guatemala City. The shop sold ancient and new cotton textiles, next to colonial-style antique furniture, and religious folk art known to the indigenous Mayan population. Today, La Casa works with artisans who handcraft textiles for the home and apparel, while continuing their furniture wood carving; ceramics and clay manufacturing; work with metals and glass beading; and sewing of leather and natural fibers.
The firm is committed to fair work practices, providing local craftspeople with an income and ongoing training. Essentially, La Casa is about exporting fabrics. It is the link between villagers and foreign designers looking for unique cotton cloth that is handloom woven and boasts exotic brocade, dye technique and prints.
Available for purchase on Le Souk, La Casa’s Ikat and ethnic, intarsia-print materials are AZO-free or without the carcinogenic nitrogen compounds found in most dyes. Suitable for wall hangings, skirts and trousers, the multicolored cotton candy striped material comes lightweight and breezy. In addition, the blue diamond hand woven weft brocade is a perfect medium weight cloth for women’s jacket and inside the home for curtains.
Hiptipico was launched in 2012. Based in the town of Panajachel, Alyssa McGarry and her team support the creativity, ingenuity and passion of local textile artisans in Guatemala. Their initiatives create a sustainable avenue for local Mayans to sell their unique handmade fabrics to the larger global market with fair trade and the environment at the heart of all operations.
One-of-a-kind textiles sold at a reasonable price mean a steady income is provided to local craftspeople, with profits being reinvested back into the weaving cooperatives and retail shops that also sell wares locally.
Ancient traditions and techniques have been passed down from generation to generation crafting the handwoven cottons, which are all naturally dyed. Hiptipico textiles are best suited to apparel, bags, shoes, and interiors and come in bright, unique patterns intent on adding splashes of color to any room or wardrobe.
Available on Le Souk, the multicolour rasta cloth is an exotic cotton-silk blend, while the naturally dyed multicolor crema is a more organic-hued textile. Both are ideal for women’s wear garments, specifically blouses and dresses.
Liztex is an Amatitlán-based mill. With a finger of the fashion pulse, Liztex is a modern version of Guatemalan textile traditions, offering high-quality fabric that are strong enough to compete with more established North American and European cotton textiles makers.
Liztex is one of the largest makers of knitwear and special wovens in Guatemala. Vertically integrated, it offers weaves in popular terry cloth and jacquard, using both air and projectile looms. The firm’s weft insertion technology allows up to eight colors to be used in the production of any given fabric – allowing brands to pick and choose niche combinations for garments.
With a small collection online at Le Souk, the brown checked fleece weave is a favorite, made from 100 percent cotton. It is a lightweight fabric ideal for trousers and skirts, and throws for the home.
Le Souk connects the world’s finest mills & tanneries directly to the design industry’s leading creatives. We bring together a trusted supplier network, the latest technologies and a community of designers and makers to make global sourcing possible – any time & anywhere.