„Pixan means spirit in Nahuatl. We believe that everything we do carries the spirit of a woman, the spirit of innovation and the spirit of fashion.”
- Guadalupe Ramirez
- 6 full-time employees & 170 artisans
- Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
- Colorful quality fabric
Pixan is the community brand of the Association of Women of the Highlands (Asociación de Mujeres del Altiplano AMA), which empowers indigenous Mayan women through women’s circles focusing on health, education, civic engagement and entrepreneurship.
More than 20 years ago Guadalupe Ramirez, the founder of Pixan, bought the women of her first women's circle high quality thread to weave textiles for the market in Chichicastenango and for church sales in the United States. With this business, they were able to make money to support their families after their husbands and fathers were murdered during Guatemala's 30 year internal conflict. These women who had relied solely on men for income were able to support themselves and their families, and the support of the circle helped them through the tragedy. Out of this experience the idea for the establishing the community brand Pixan was born. While Pixan seeks to create modern and innovative designs, these products never loose sight of their Mayan origins. Each product is inspired by and symbolic of Mayan cosmology. The larger diamonds illustrated on several fabrics represent the four corners of the world and the smaller diamonds contained within represent the sun.
Pixan works with 170 Mayan artisan women across the highlands of Guatemala. The women weave the high-quality fabric from naturally dyed cotton threads on foot or backstrap looms applying century old weaving techniques. In Guatemala, this ancient craft is used on a daily basis to create fabric for clothes and home textiles, but most importantly the traditional dress of the Mayan women - a huilpil.
Pixan is the community brand of a total of 170 indigenous Mayan women from the highlands of Guatemala.
More about the art of Mayan weaving:
The Mayan women artisans of Pixan produce the high-quality fabric on traditional wooden back-strap and foot looms.
Foot loom weaving is an ancestral weaving method that was originally only used by men since it requires a lot of strength. As Pixan believes that both men and women have the same capacity to do things, women were trained by a master foot loom weaver. Once they were fully capacitated, Pixan donated wooden foot looms to the women of the Mam & K'iche communities. The foot loom process is very complex: the weft goes over and under the warp back and forth, again and again to create the fabric while the pedals open and close the sheds by raising and lowering the harness. The wide varieties of fabric and patterns that weavers create are a result of knowledge that has been passed generations from generations.
Backstrap loom weaving is an ancient art practiced for centuries by Mayan artisans in Guatemala. This art has been passed generations to generations from mothers to daughters and today it is still used on a daily basis, in many parts of our country. This is a very special technique as the weaver's body is the most important part of the loom and the weaving. The back rod is tied to a tree or post while weaving and the other end has a strap that encircles the waist or backside and the weaver can move back or forward to produce the needed tension. The weaver usually spends 4 to 6 hours weaving, sitting on the ground on her knees and when they start getting older and want to keep weaving that position becomes a little bit uncomfortable and they have to use a small stool, but they still enjoy it and they put all their feelings and emotions into each piece of art that they make. It usually takes 3 weeks to 1 month to weave a 25 x 25 cm panel, while the time needed depends on the design and the size.
With every purchase of a pillowcase by Pixan you not only support the growth of the brand but WLP also directly contributes its profits to the projects of AMA empowering the Mayan women artisans behind each product.
Read more about White Label Project’s commitment to support brands and their communities by sharing its profits.