The Story Behind the Signature R2R Weave

March 31, 2016 2 Comments

The Story Behind the Signature R2R Weave

Our weave, as seen on most of R2R items, is both traditional and modern. It’s a technique that has been used for so long but has also evolved throughout the years, and we are still cultivating that evolution!

The signature R2R weave is special not just because of how it looks – it looks awesome if you ask us – but the magic of this weave starts in the homes of our community-based artisans where they take strips of fabric, knot them together, and weave them using a simple wooden frame with perfectly calibrated nails. Let us break that down a little bit.

The-Secret-Behind-the-Signature-R2R-Weave

The strips of fabric: Our artisans use strips of fabric that we source from factories and retailers. Some are discarded or overstock fabric available in various colors in relatively limited quantities.

The-Secret-Behind-the-Signature-R2R-Weave
The-Secret-Behind-the-Signature-R2R-Weave

The special knotting technique: The artisans then use a special knotting technique to bind the strips of fabric together. Why is it special? Because this technique produces the smallest possible knot that is still strong and secure. When you look at the signature R2R weave, you can hardly see them.

The-Secret-Behind-the-Signature-R2R-Weave

The wooden frame we use for weaving: The artisans weave these fabric strips onto a wooden frame. There is also a very special reason why we use simple wooden frames and not humongous looms or sewing machines: the homes of our artisans are quite cozy (some are only 20 square feet) and even medium-sized sewing machines could take away valuable space for the kids to play and the family to live.

The-Secret-Behind-the-Signature-R2R-Weave

And finally, the art of weaving itself: When you look at the signature R2R weave, you’ll notice that every square is in place, as tight as the rest of the squares in the panel. The quality of the weave is amazing. When you look at the signature R2R weave, imagine how every square got to where it is. Did you know that the artisans have to maintain the same level of tension when weaving a whole panel? It takes discipline, a lot of patience, love, control, and inner peace to weave every single R2R panel.

The weaving process still amazes us every day.

The-Secret-Behind-the-Signature-R2R-Weave

HINT: A lot of our store ambassadors are actually artisans, too! When you visit one of our stores, you can ask them about the weaving process. They LOVE talking about it with our advocates and they also get to teach it during our Weaving with the Weavers events!

Photos by Shutterpanda Photography



2 Responses

Jaimie
Jaimie

May 22, 2017

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Meredith Kain
Meredith Kain

September 30, 2016

I will be in Manila 2 October – 5 October. I will then be travelling to Catarman, Northern Dakar to a jar my Textile knowledge with the local community. I would love to meet a representative of R2R while I am in Manila.

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