Penca Bags - A One Of A Kind Journey!
These all-natural bags are created by hand in the beautiful country of Ecuador!
The fibers for these bags are sourced from "penca", a native type of agave cactus.
The penca is hand harvested, then fed through a machine that crushes it and separates the fibers.
This fiber is called cabuya! It is combed and separated before being spun into "yarn".
Now the cabuya is ready to be colored. But first, the dye has to be created. This means collecting berries, barks, and seeds! Some of these will be mixed with certain leafy plants to help the colors stay, using formulas that have been passed down for thousands of years.
The harvested berries (or barks, seeds, etc.) are then mashed and mixed with water before being boiled over an open fire. The cooking time depends on the desired color - some of these dyes will simmer for 24 hours or more!
The dyed "yarn" is called hilo, and must be dried for several days and then wound into balls, a difficult process no matter how careful you are!
The final step is the weaving of the bags themselves! These artisans spend a lifetime developing these skills, and each bag is unique to its weaver. Depending upon the size and pattern of the bag, they can take many days to complete.
These unique, earth friendly bags are extremely durable and will last for many years to come. Your purchases support these artists directly. All proceeds from the sale of these bags go directly to the artisans and their families!