Unique Batik Blog

Get your fair trade on!


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Pompom and tassel trend

We’re in full summer mode here at Unique Batik and we’ve got lots of great ideas to help you make the most of your adventures – in style.

Do you love the pompom and tassel trend? From totes to clutches, we’ve got a variety to choose from in a range of colors for every occasion. What makes ours special? They’re handmade in Guatemela, and each piece is unique in its craftsmanship.

Related post:  Las Mujeres De Panabaj: Working Together to Rebuild

Guatemala is known for its vibrant and vivid colors, where artisans take pride in their patterns, materials and creations. There’s something for everyone – whether you like a bit of whimsy or a simple a pop of color. If you’re looking for one-of-kind style and authenticity, go the Fair Trade route!

Pompom and tassels at Unique Batik

Shop our Unique Batik bags


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Guatemalan Traditions: Natural Dyes

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Income is more valuable than ever for women in Guatemala, as construction jobs are disappearing for their husbands. Many women are now the sole wage earners in their households. With pressure to support their families and raise their children, Natural Dye Co-ops are popping up all over Guatemala.

Unique Batik partners with natural dye artisans living in San Juan la Laguna, which is located on the western shore of Lake Atitlan. San Juan la Laguna is a quiet, clean village of about 8,000 residents.  Off the beaten (tourist) path, its resulting relaxed atmosphere allows visitors to get away from the bustle of the city and experience the genuine friendliness of the indigenous Guatemalan people.

In the co-op, the women have perfected ways to create dyes from coffee, avocado, berries, cocoa, tree bark, and other plants.

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Cotton thread is dyed in these homemade mixtures and then woven to make scarves,

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clothing, household items, and handbags.

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Shades of green pulled from avocado; Coral red plucked from achote seed; Neutral shades drawn from eucalyptus and guava.

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By using local plants, many of which are growing in the back yards of the women, sourcing ingredients takes much less time. Some of the plants used can even result in various colors, depending on how long the yarns are left to boil in the dye vats. For example, the sacatinta plant yields blue to grey to charcoal, all dependent on boiling time.

Support these talented women and shop our entire line of Natural Dye items HERE.

Download a printable Natural Dye Color Chart HERE. 

 


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Molding a Better Future: Ceramics of San Antonio Palopo

The highlands of Guatemala have a rich geological history; through years of volcanic eruptions, various types of rock, sand, ceramics blogand ash have combined to create channels of clay in the exposed river systems of the highland valleys. This clay is perfect for making high quality ceramics. In the 1990s, his search for just such a source of great clay brought potter Ken Edwards to Guatemala. Like many who discover the wonders of Guatemala, Edwards stayed for a long time. Today, the ceramics studio he established in San Antonio Palopo provides the unique pottery pieces featured at Unique Batik, and income to generations of potters in the mountain village. Continue reading


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Unique Batik and Fair Trade: The “Fair” in Fair Trade

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Continuing our exploration of the ten principles of Fair Trade as outlined by one of the leading bodies in the fair trade world, the World Fair Trade Organization, let’s look at what it means to pay a fair price. The idea that producers receive a fair price for their goods is the most basic idea of the fair trade movement. It’s also the one most familiar to consumers. If you ask someone what “fair trade” means, that’s the first thing that comes to mind. Continue reading