Finger weaving

Finger weaving is a textile production technique with distinctive patterns.

This weaving technique does not require a loom nor separate warp. Instead, only straight threads are braided over and around each other to create a finished woven product.


Using the crochet technique, indigenous women in Colombia have lovingly handcrafted these resistant accessories, stitch by stitch.

The quality of the handicraft is a sign of their intelligence, skill and learning ability.


Macramee is a way of creating textiles using knotting techniques.

This technique was long crafted by sailors, especially in ornamental knotting forms, to cover anything from ships’ parts to knives.


In the 1970s, Wayuu tapestry or image making was particularly popular.

From the Fira de Barcelona to the MoMa in New York, Wayuu handicrafts could be admired in museums all over the world. The artistic motifs are painstakingly woven into the fabric using colorful threads wound on so-called weaver boats. However, tapestry went out of fashion and therefore many artisans lost their jobs. The Mama Tierra design team has given another chance to this ancient technique by transforming the tapestries into beautiful clutches and pillowcases that have become very popular.


The Wayuu indigenous people call this technique Kutpera.

The production requires knowledge of the complicated ply-splitting technique and is usually done by the men. In ply-split braiding, yarn passes through other yarns turned into a cord. The pattern is formed by the placement of cord color and the order in which they are split. Traditionally, this band is used as an element in the donkey saddle.

Diagonal weaving

Wayuu men weave with iraka palm their iconic straw hats.

They find the iraka palm in the Macuira dry forest while pastoring their goats. Each straw strand needs to be cut in even a few millimeters wide bands and be finely weaved together. High quality products have the opposite design on the inner part.


Wayuu women use the siira weaving on an upright loom applying a score of intricate textile techniques.

They manipulate their warps and wefts steadily, with enormous patience and skill to produce their geometric designs. The newer generations have lost this precolonial weaving skill, only older women are still able to weave siira belts.

A technography of the Siira Belt has been written by Mirja Wark and the book is available here.


The Wayuu use four techniques to elaborate hammocks.

The most difficult one makes what they call a chinchorro. This kind of hammock has a central piece made on a vertical loom built with logs. Normally women weave with their hands hammocks compressing the weft threads resulting in a structured weave. Next comes the so-called cabuyera, which is made with the macramé technique that end in a handle that facilitates the hanging of the chinchorro. The fringes are the sides of the chinchorro and they are made last using the crochet or the macramé techniques.

Loom Weaving

Wayuu artisans weave this kind of textiles using a small vertical upright loom.

The loom’s frame has two crosspieces, one that fits in the upper part and the other that is tied at the bottom. After the thread is mounted, it is passed under the lower crossbeam backwards to go up again to the upper crossbeam. In this way the warp is assembled, repeating step by step the comings and goings over the crossbeams. The weaving of the strap begins by passing one of the skeins through the space created by the threads on the crossbeams, so that two skeins remain to make the weft passes.


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