Meet the Artisan behind the backstrap loom

Meet the Artisan behind the backstrap loom

In the heart of Santo Tomás de Jalieza, Ocotlán, Oaxaca, you can find Irma Santo’s house, artisan and now friend of Eclectic Array.

Irma comes from a family of artisans that had transmitted the backstrap loom technique from generation to generation. Just like her grandmother taught her mom, and her mom taught her, Irma has taught her son and daughter-in-law this beautiful technique in which she had the vision of taking it further and turning it into a business, thus making it her way of living and supporting her family.

The weaving process has become intuitive, as it seems so easy for her. First, they assemble the longest threads on the loom by putting tension on some pole or tree and tying it around her waist of whatever width they want the fabric to be. Then, she starts weaving, making forms and patterns, changing colors, and creating real pieces of art. Just by moving her fingers, she counts the threads to know where the other color comes to bring life without the need to see a previous pattern.

When the fabric is done, it is her husband who makes the pieces like bags, totes, purses, and, on the loom, depending on the width, she can create plate mats, coasters, belts, bracelets, and many other beautiful products. We've been working together for around 6 years, creating unique collections for Eclectic Array that have become essential for our stores.


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