Embark on another chapter of our "Unwrapping the Stories" series, where each product unfolds a narrative as rich and comforting as the woolen blankets we're about to share. Today, we're diving into the cozy world of our wool Momo blankets, a journey that took us from market intrigue to the heart of Momostenango.
On our initial trip to Guatemala, the allure of wool blankets from the mountains captured our curiosity. A chance encounter in Antigua led us to purchase blankets from a woman claiming her family made them. Skepticism lingered, but fate intervened in the form of Adolfo, our incredible Guatemala driver, and unofficial "Guatemalan Google."
Ginger and Tiffany with Adolfo
Adolfo, or GG as we affectionately call him, asked people in his hometown and beyond and uncovered the real family behind the blankets – meet Byron Ralac Argueta, the leader of a cooperative dedicated to preserving this ancient craft. His family, along with others, transforms wool into the cozy masterpieces we now cherish.
Byron helps Tiffany cross the river to make it to his home workshop.
In Byron's home workshop, we witnessed the intricate process. Local sheep herders supply the wool, which is then cleaned, brushed, and spun into yarn. The vibrant hues are born through careful dyeing before the family uses massive wooden looms to bring the blankets to life. But the magic doesn't stop there.
A one-hour trek to a hot spring becomes the next chapter. The blankets take a soothing dip, shrinking and felting to perfection. Back at the workshop, they bask in the sun, followed by a gentle brush for that finished, soft touch.
Collaborating with Byron, we designed three new blankets. My personal favorite? The lively, colorful striped blanket.
Alongside the new blankets, we offer solid cream blankets and traditional striped patterns, crafted by Momo artisans for centuries.
Yet, the story goes beyond the blankets. In the past two decades, Guatemalan families lost much of their woolen business to Mexican blankets' popularity. Byron, however, is on a mission to rejuvenate the Guatemalan wool blanket craft, providing a sustainable source of income for families in Momostenango.
So, as you unwrap the soft embrace of our Momo blankets this holiday season, remember that each thread carries not just warmth but a story of resilience, tradition, and a community's determination to preserve its craft. Stay tuned for more heartwarming tales in our 12 Days of Christmas series.