Fabric Spotlight | The History of Bolivian Aguayo
All of our pet accessory collections are made from fabric that we have designed in house or from ethically sourced fabrics from our travels. All of our in-house fabric designs are hand drawn by our Co-Founder and Head of Design, Amy. As well as these original designs, we also make our pet accessories from limited edition fabrics that we source throughout Co-Founder Bee's home continent of Africa. These fabrics often come from small local markets in Ghana or Senegal but we also buy directly from larger mills in Kenya and South Africa as well as other places we visit. Today we wanted to highlight the traditional uses of aguayo fabric, the colourful fabric used to make our Inca Pink, Blue and Holly collections.
Aguayo fabrics are originally used in South America in the Andean culture, in countries such as Bolivia, Peru, Chile and Argentina for women to carry children and take products to the market. The fabrics are a hand made weave, often made from wool, and dyed with natural vibrant colours. If you look at the design of aguayo, you can see that most of them have 3 defined blocks that are the edge or “t’irja” from where the blanket is tied. Then there is “pampa” or the flat part, which is a specific solid colour. And finally, “salta” or the part with patterns or figures. The colours used often indicate the region in which the fabric was made, or the purpose for which it is to be used, such as for specific festivals etc. The process of weaving traditional aguayo is complex and time consuming.
Today you can find multicoloured aguayos produced mostly in Bolivia. As opposed to the traditional ones, these fabrics are made with synthetic materials and they are woven on a larger scale, making them popular with tourists and for commercial use. We personally source our aguayo fabric to ensure it is of the highest quality, as well as being ethically and sustainably produced.