From agave plant to bag

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The Andes, Boayca, Colombia

 

Driving to Curití in Santander, Colombia from Villa de Leyva watching the green luscious landscape pass by. As you see the clouds are not so far up because we are over 2000 meter up in the green hills of the  Andes.

 

 

On the way to Curití we stop in Arcabuco to see the sculpture created by Julio Abril Mayorga that is a relative of Julia Peralta, whom I´m visiting and that so kindly is showing all that she and her partner Daniel Nyström loves about this part of the Colombian Andes. Google Julio Abril to easily read more about this interesting Colombian sculptor, painter and draughtsman.

 

Agave is a whole family of plants called Agavacae. The sisal fiber is made from Agave.

The city of Curití  is famous for crafts made from fique, or agave sisal. Fique is a strong durable fiber obtained from the leaves of the family of the tropical plant Furcraea American. Sisal is a fiber from Agave sisalana. The term sisal may refer to the plant´s common name or the fiber depending on the context. The sisal fiber is traditionally used for rope but today is used for footwear, hats, bags, carpets and dartboards or mostly anything you can come up with. I am a fan of sisal and now I have to possibility to see and learn more about fique and hopefully come up with new ideas for my own design.

 

Agave Americana
Furcraea andina is native to Andean regions of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Fique is the fiber that grows in the leaves of the plant from which they in Curiti has tradition of making everything from hats to rugs.
Fique fiber used for making a bag.
This type of fique weave is most interesting to me. I just adore the raw durability and the rough feel to it.
Fique fiber packed in colorful bags ready to be used, colored and made into new material. 

The place we have come to see in Curití is professionally handmaking the fique fiber from leaf to product. The process from the fique fiber is taken from the leaf to it is ready to weave is long. Here the fiber is colored in big tubs. After it has dried it will be spun into thread that you can then weave in looms/vävstol into the material you want to create.

 

I think these big looms full with thread ready to create are beautiful.

This is how you use the loom/vävstol if you are a master fique weaver in Curití.

To not get the fique fiber in you breathing pipes, as it divides while weaving you need to wear a mask.  So it has not got to do with sickness or disease. We are shown around and all of the handcraft men&women are so kind to let us take pictures. I ask everyone and they all show directly that they are happy to share their tradition that is so interesting to see.

 

Using fique to tell a story can be this lovely.

Everywhere nature inspires me to create here in Colombia.

Detail of one of my favorite flowers that you find everywhere here in Colombia. Do you know the flower or bush that it grows on ?
Agave close up.

I am so happy we came to Curití to see how you work this amazing plant into a fiber to be able to create traditional and new handmade products. Do you know that the agave plant is used to make a famous alcohol as well? I´ll tell you next time if you don´t tell me.

Stay in touch

Jimmy

 

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