Maya Traditions Journal > Exploring the Design Process of Fair Trade Textiles

Posted by on September 17, 2014 in , , ,

Written by Averie Floyd Design Intern

Hello, Averie the design intern here. As I shared in my last blog post, I am working to create a new Maya Traditions textile that applies future color trends. This process has many steps and involves many people along the way. The first step was to narrow down which colors to use. This can be difficult with such a wide variety to choose from in just one season. While doing the research I took note of colors that appeared often in the trend report images. One of these colors was Ultramarine so I decided to use it as the base color for the new textile.

A taste of my inspiration boards
The next step in the design process is to use elements and principles of design to select colors that will be successful in combination with Ultramarine. I began looking up color pallets with Ultramarine, and focused on those that did not have similar color palettes to the lienso designs Maya Traditions already produces. After putting together inspiration boards, it was time to start testing out color combinations.
An example of card stock model of the new lienso.
After selecting the threads that matched the colors in my inspiration boards, I began to play with stripe placement. To design a woven textile, thread is wrapped around a piece of cardstock in the pattern that will be replicated in the threading of the warp threads on a back strap loom.  It is important to keep scale in mind. A lienso is about 16.5” wide, so I imagined the designs I wrapped around the card stock to be repeated three to four times depending on the final measurements.
The placement of stripes was another design challenge. I want to create something new to the Maya Tradition collection, but not throw the viewer’s eyes in too many different directions. I want the textile to be easy on the eyes. Both the colors and stripes emote a mood that attracts different customers. Finding the balance between designs that were too “junior” and designs that were too “mature” was another challenge. Here are some examples of the combinations I developed.

The artisans in Chuacruz reviewing my samples

The last step is to get feedback. I started with the team at Maya Traditions and received feedback in terms of production and the taste of current and future customers.  This week I was also able to get feedback from the women who will be creating this lienso design in Chuacruz. I learned about the symbolism in their weavings and asked them why they liked certain designs I had brought more than others. The editing process takes a long time in design as different options are tested out. This week we should decide on a final design and invite the weavers into the office to set up a loom for a woven sample!                    

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