August 20, 2022

It's All About the Cotton

It's All About the Cotton

At Mayamam Weavers, we are all about cotton. All our products are handwoven out of 100% cotton. Cotton is natural, durable, absorbent, keeps its shape, and is easy to maintain. Moving towards a sustainable future, it is also recyclable and biodegradable. We love how it doesn’t pill, and certainly doesn’t produce microplastics! Weaving with cotton makes our products long lasting, absorbent, and easy to wash and dry.  

You may have noticed that we are also all about color at Mayamam Weavers. We purchase our yarns dyed to the colors we specify from a small business in Salcaja where they use dyes that are certified azo free. It’s important to look for azo free dyes certifiying that they don’t include a group of chemicals that may produce carcinogenic and allergenic nitrogen compounds. This ensures that the dyes will not irritate your skin.  Our yarn supplier sells us the yarn either in skeins or on cones. If we purchase it in skeins we have to put the yarn onto cones before we can use it to warp a loom or weave the weft.  

Cotton keeps its shape because the yarn has a good memory. Although that is a wonderful attribute, the other side of it is that the cotton fabric will shrink the first and sometimes the second time that it is washed. It is taking back the stretch that was caused by the weaving process. Each of our fabrics behaves a little differently. And each time the fabric is woven on the loom it can change the amount of shrinkage, which is part of the charm and frustration of hand woven textiles.  That good memory also explains why we recommend dry cleaning our scarves and Windowpane Wraps. They are woven with an “airy” weave, leaving lots of space between certain rows. That means that washing the scarf will cause the cotton to move back to its original self, thereby closing up the airiness. As we explain to customers, the scarf is still beautifully colored, but it is no longer “light and airy.”  

Except for the scarves, windowpane shawls, and bags, when you purchase from Mayamam Weavers, all the products have already been washed in cold water, dried, and pressed. We do recommend washing our products in cold water and using a medium dryer heat. You can wash using hot water but there is a chance that they could shrink a bit more. If you remove the products from the dryer quickly they won’t need ironing. This is especially true for our remarkable Cuadritos table linens!  Thank you cotton, who wouldn’t want to eliminate ironing from their routine?