About the Social Fabric™
Social Fabric™ is 100% cotton, with a glass thread woven through it.
Weavers throughout Guatemala weave the indigenous cotton, along with Retroglo®, into Social Fabric™. There are two methods of weaving:
The floor loom is made by Francisco Tcoc and his associates in a village north of Sololá, the capital city of the Mayan province around Lake Atitlán. The looms use no electricity. A simple pedal action sends the shuttle back and forth.
The backstrap fabric is made by a team of weavers at a lower altitude on the Boca Costa headed by Maria Elena Ramirez. These home looms require something like a saddle for a swing that the weaver leans back into to create the tension.
Backstrap weaving is the most primitive type of weaving and is still in-practice among indigenous peoples around the world. Crudely formed wooden dowels, a saddle and a beam is all that is needed. A woman can care for her children and home while earning a decent living. Variations in tension as well as the natural punctuation of household chores that call a weaver away from the saddle, create a skin-like texture in the fabric.
20 Mayan weavers produce backstrap loom fabric in Chicacao, Guatemala in their own homes. It takes a weaver approximately 8-15 days to produce enough fabric for a garment using the backstrap weaving method.
Floorloom vs. Backstrap
The following image shows the difference between the floorloom and backstrap fabrics. The backstrap (top) has a thicker nap and is slightly more irregular than the floorloom (bottom).
Retroglo® is the glass thread that runs sporadically through our fabric. When a flash of light catches the fabric, the Retroglo® creates a distinct reflection.
Besides having visual appeal, the reflection has many levels of meaning. Practically, it prevents the Mayan weavers from the threat of cheap imitations and encourages the wearer to engage in a safe, active lifestyle. On a higher level, the manmade fiber juxtaposed against a handmade cloth indicates the relationship between God and man.