Fairmount Fibers, Ltd.
U.S. Distributor of Manos del Uruguay Yarns

Artisan's Day

July 28 is "Artisan's Day", celebrated in Uruguay to commemorate the birthday of  Uruguayan artist Joaquin Torres Garcia.  We would like to share with you an entry previously posted on the Manos del Uruguay blog about preserving the tradition of spinning. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="487"] Yanette spinning in the Cooperative Fraile Muerto. Photo: Olivia Perez.[/caption] When Manos del Uruguay formed in 1968, Uruguayan wool was naturally thought of as one lead through which economic opportunity existed for rural women. At that time most of the husbands of the women worked as laborers and they received wool from their employers. Generally the wool was black or brown which the women washed and wove into ponchos and rugs. Some time later the yarn was dyed in pots over wood fires. The result was a very uneven yarn, quite heavy and irregular, wonderfully bright colors. Over time the artisans learned a lot about fiber, spinning and dyeing. The Clasica yarn you know and love today is basically the same as it was 40 years ago.  Little by little other natural fibers were incorporated with the wool, such as silk, and alpaca, to generate new textures and coloring. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="487"] Eva, also in the Cooperative Fraile Muerto. Photo: Olivia Perez.[/caption] In four cooperatives in villages in the interior of Uruguay (Fraile Muerto, Dragon, Santa Lucia and San Jose) you will still find spinning at a spinning wheel and the yarn dyed in large pots.  Today the best Uruguayan wool tops are used to achieve the quality that our customer demands. We have exported our yarn Clasica for over 30 years and in doing so have helped to keep not only the craft of the spinning wheel, but also the traditions and culture of Uruguay. Do you have family members who spin, or are you the first in a new generation of spinners? We would love to hear your thoughts on our Facebook page, in our Ravelry group, or tweet us @ManosYarns  

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