Weaving Technology

The weaving technology employed by Mayan people, even given the great variety of fabric produced, is quite similar across the region. Similarity across the region should not be mistaken for simplicity, though, as Mayan weaving is anything but simple. In the most general terms, the complex process of making fabric can be described in two steps. First, raw fiber must be turned into thread, and second, thread must be woven into fabric.

Spinning: From Fiber to Thread

People in Mesoamerica have woven fabric for centuries, as demonstrated by indirect archaeological evidence. While spinning may be one of the most low-tech steps in the weaving process, it is the foundation of every piece of fabric, whether the thread be spun by hand or by machine.

Weaving: From Thread to Fabric

Weaving thread into fabric can be accomplished in several different ways using different types of looms. Some of these looms have been used since prehistoric times; others were introduced by the Spanish after the Conquest.