What is a frazada and what is its purpose? I’m sure that if you’ve spent any amount of time looking through our shop, you’ve seen the word “frazada” mentioned a time or two! So what exactly is a frazada?
What Is It?
Literally meaning “blanket” in Spanish, frazadas are traditionally used in the Andes to protect against the chill of the high altitudes. Dating back to Pre-Columbian times, the thick, warm and sturdy weave of these pieces helped combat the cold temperatures of the highlands.
The skill of weaving has been passed down through generations and most start learning well before their tenth birthday. The colors, patterns, and techniques of each piece are completely unique and are a reflection of the weaver. Sometimes these have cultural significance, such as a reflection of lineage or customary events such as weddings. Because each piece is a reflection of the weaver, you know that you are adding a completely unique piece to your home.
How It’s Made
Each frazada is 100% natural, as it is made from sheep and/or alpaca wool and natural dyes. The process begins by shearing the sheep - these fibers are then dyed with natural dyes from plants, fruits, insects, or roots. Once dyed, the fibers are spun before being woven on a backstap loom. The weaving starts out twice the length of the completed frazada, and is then cut in half and sewn together in the middle with a whipstitch. In total, the process usually takes 4-6 weeks to complete.
In Your Home
Due to their thick and durable (yet soft) weave and huge range of colors, frazadas can be used for many purposes in home decor and design. They are commonly used in modern decor as rugs, but also work beautifully as bed runners or covers, throw blankets, wall hangings or picnic blankets. We also love them draped over the back of a sofa or tucked into the seat cushions as an easy way to incorporate color into a room. Because of their durable nature, frazadas also make a great material for upholstery projects.