Finding the "H" in Kitchen Towels

February 19, 2021

Finding the "H" in Kitchen Towels

“Hache” is the name of the weave that we use to make our luxury kitchen linens. It is named for the tiny “H” formed by the weave (pronounced hache in Spanish).  Quite complicated, the Hache weave is made using a 4 harness loom combined with fancy footwork. The weavers have to really concentrate on their work so that the “H”’s appear in the correct place!

It all started several years ago when in a quest to differentiate ourselves from other weaving groups, we decided we needed to learn to weave on the 4-harness loom. The foot loom has traditionally been used by men in Guatemala while women typically specialize in weaving on backstrap looms, handing down the skills to their daughters each generation. Our women's cooperative sought to differentiate themselves with new weaving designs, so we added 4 harness looms to our workshop. We brought in master weaver Don Oscar Boj of Quetzaltenango to teach the Hache technique in addition to a few other techniques.  Not only is he a master weaver, but he is also an excellent (and patient) teacher. During the training, he required the women to take notes.  At the time, note taking was not part of their skills since more than half of them had not attended school. They were in the midst of the literacy training that was required to participate in the cooperative. Don Oscar worked with them patiently until they could master the weaves (and the note taking). He taught them about 20 additional different stitches that resulted in some beautiful samples.

In Guatemala it is quite common for a town to specialize in a particular weave. The ability for us to weave different designs has led to custom work in Guatemala (as well as the U.S.) for various designers.  Here in the U.S., our Hache line has taken off. Customers love not only the look, but the feel of the Hache kitchen linens.  This weave construction leaves many surfaces of the yarn open to the air or water which makes them very absorbent. And of course, the visual pattern is complex and attractive, elevating them to true gift worthy status! Our Hache weave is available in kitchen towels, dish cloths as well as kitchen towel/dish cloth sets.

 

As time has passed we have had several new weavers enter the cooperative, so we recently asked Don Oscar to return to teach Hache again. We are excited to roll out a beautiful new Black and White Hache Towel Set with a vivid red border. Stay tuned, it will soon be followed by a Black and White Hache with black border.  

 

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