On our first journey to Guatemala, Tiffany and I had no idea that our trip would lead us to discover a treasure trove of vintage handwoven skirts known as "cortes." The sheer beauty and cultural significance of these garments captivated us, but we faced a creative conundrum. How could we incorporate these stunning skirts into our home decor and bag business without sacrificing their integrity? After much contemplation, a brilliant idea struck us - to transform them into unique blankets that would honor their heritage and preserve their splendor.
In Guatemala, Mayan men skillfully weave fabric panels on foot looms, carefully creating intricate patterns and vibrant colors. The woven panel is then sewn together at the ends, forming a tube. To wear the corte, a woman steps into the tube, gracefully wrapping the fabric around her body and securing it with a handwoven belt. These skirts are not merely garments; they represent a rich tapestry of Mayan culture, tradition, and identity.
Reluctant to cut into the fabric due to its undeniable beauty, we decided to explore alternative ways to showcase these cortes. Our hearts were set on incorporating their essence into our business, and the idea to transform them into blankets emerged. We were determined to create something special that would not only celebrate the heritage of these skirts but also provide comfort and joy to those who appreciate their artistry.
To bring our vision to life, we sought the expertise of talented tailors at Ruth & Naomi and enlisted the help of skilled women from Xojola. With great care and respect, they cut the vintage cortes into two equal pieces. But this was not the end of the story. The true magic began when these pieces were expertly embroidered together, resulting in full-size throw blankets that boasted a captivating statement down the middle.
Each blanket we create carries within it a tale of the Mayan women who once wore these skirts. The combination of vibrant colors, intricate patterns, and heartfelt craftsmanship showcases the cultural heritage and artistic prowess of Guatemala. Every stitch is a testament to the talent and dedication of the weavers and artisans who have poured their skills and passion into these cortes.
Our transformed vintage corte blankets are not only visually stunning but also embody the spirit of sustainable and ethical craftsmanship. By repurposing second-hand skirts, we contribute to reducing waste while simultaneously providing a unique piece of home decor. These blankets are more than just cozy throws; they serve as powerful reminders of cultural preservation, authenticity, and the beauty that comes from honoring tradition.