Tierra Wools Spring Harvest Festival Celebrates Traditional Crafts

Hand-dyed wool at a previous Spring Harvest Festival. Courtesy/Dave Thomson

Sheep shearing at Tierra Wools Spring Harvest Festival. Courtesy/Dave Thomson
 
Staff report:

The Tierra Wools Spring Harvest Festival will take place Saturday, April 27 in Los Ojos.

The Festival will feature sheep shearing, spinning, dying and weaving demonstrations. Music and refreshments will be part of the celebration.

Tierra Wools is a spinning, hand dyeing, and hand weaving workshop and a retail store. Tierra Wools buys local yarn to weave into beautiful weavings which are sold from its workshop in Los Ojos.  

The enterprise is operated by Los Ojos Handweavers, LLC, owned by the growers, spinners and hand weavers that produce its goods, as well as supporting investors.

Many of the weavers of Tierra Wools descend from Spanish immigrants who settled in the Rio Grande Valley as early as the 16th century.

Sheep-raising was the economic mainstay of these settlers and the textiles produced by them were called “Rio Grande blankets.”

This weaving style was influenced by a mix of Spanish, Mexican and Indian designs, and characterized by the use of stripes and bands, saltillo diamonds (diamond pattern usually in center of weaving), and Vallero stars (six pointed star.)

Tierra Wools was started in 1983 as part of Ganados del Valle, a community-based nonprofit organization with the mission of empowering rural people to create sustainable economies by building on cultural and agricultural resources.

Tierra Wools fills a gap in this remote mountainous area by providing training and experience in business management and the art of weaving. By developing new skills and participating in a successful business, members and employees have developed self-esteem and been empowered to take leadership in the home and in the community.

Since its inception, Tierra Wools has added a guest house, a weaving school, and revived natural dyeing of organically raised wool yarns.

Visit http://www.handweavers.com for more information.

 

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