Matamba, Colombia

Handwoven Raffia, Ethical Production,
Heritage Craft Preservation

A creative studio based in Colombia, they work directly with artisan communities to co-create modern ideas that enhance ancestral techniques and preserve their culture and identity.

‘Weaving for Change’ of the Tuareg community from Northern Mali 

Founders Jennibeth Iguarán and Juanita Gil travel throughout Colombia to collaborate with various artisan communities on everything from clothing to accessories. You’ll find hand-woven fique totes, the kind you could as easily take to the market as your office. Or perhaps you’ve got your eye on a caramel-rose tunic that lets you effortlessly drift from house to pool. Whatever the finished product, Matamba’s artisans blend traditional knowledge and skill with contemporary design, creating beautiful, timeless pieces. All of their products are handmade using ancient methods, thus combining history with innovation.

Weaving, spinning, knitting, sewing. The makers couple these age-old techniques with the raw materials of the land (fique, banana fiber, palm) to craft their goods. Iguaran and Gil, meanwhile, provide the overarching creative vision, which can be characterized by warm, soft colors and unique details (a fringed edge, a bold stripe). So, while the artisans who create the product might come from all over Colombia, the look of the Matamba line remains is as consistent as it is alluring.

Ultimately, Matamba’s collections highlight Colombia’s rich craft culture and techniques, while offering gainful employment and empowering hundreds of women throughout the country. By ensuring the preservation of the artisan trade and understanding and respecting the personal bond between identity and craft, Matamba is able to keep moving forward while embracing past.

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