There is a small shopping centre on Av. Alvear, called Galeria Alvear, where we spent quite a bit of time (and money!), in particular, a little store called Maria Mateos that specialised in silk handwoven scarves and wraps. Now, my Spanish is non-existent and Lou's (my travelling companion) is pretty basic, so this information may have been lost in translation, but we were chatting to the owner of the store, who said that she and her two female partners make everything in the shop. It takes them about nine hours to weave a small scarf and 20 hours to weave a wrap. There were so many lovely colourways to choose from, and we came out with about ten purchases between us.
|Left: One of wraps that came home with me. Top right:The wrap I had enough self-control to put back. |
Bottom right: A small selection of the scarves.
|Just a small selection of the goodies in store at Arandú|
Arte Etnico Argentino, was the very last shop I went into on the trip. Unfortunately for them, I could no longer fit anything even in the extra suitcase, so it was browsing only! Arte Etnico highlight their socially responsible practices – their aim being to "contribute to the development of local cultures by increasing their production and helping preserve their traditions in a sustainable environment". Many of the textiles are quite old, but they also sell furniture which is a mix of antique and new products made in their workshop in the north of Argentina – the dry-forest region of Santiago del Estero – which is part of the only dry, subtropical forest in the world. There is a link on their website explaining the production processes and a piece on the fate of the forest by one of the shop owners here.
There are two store owners, and they have also written a book about the textiles and the people they source them from – 'Teleras: weavers from Argentina's dry forest'. I plan to track down a copy as I was looking at it in the shop and it was a beautiful resource.
|via Arte Etnico Argentino|
There is one more shop I need to write about, but it will have to wait until another post...