About our yarns May 29 2018
Located high atop the Andes Mountains in the beautiful city of Salinas de Guaranda, Ecuador it's where each Christmas stocking we make begins.
Salinas, as it's known by the villagers, is a rather remote city named for its vast salt mines. The salt mines provided work for the people of Salinas for centuries, until the 1970's.
After so many years of mining, by the 1970's the salt became more and more difficult to extract. When the commercial mining operation that employed most of Salinas closed up, the village was faced with deep despair.
The people of Salinas refused to give up. They banded together in the and set out to build a solidarity economy. A solidarity economy is a values centered, alternative economy. It's a grassroots approach built by the people, for the people. In Salinas, this development model was used to create several cooperatively owned businesses. The villagers pooled their resources and worked to create family centered enterprises.
In 1974 a group of 15 women decided to capitalize on the wool produced by the sheep and llamas in the region that at the time, had no commercial destiny. They took the raw fiber and hand spun it into beautiful yards using traditional wooden dowels. Then they sold their yarns to villagers who would hand knit it into garments like sweaters and hats.
As time went on, demand grew for the high quality wool yarns produced in Salinas. In the 1980's they invested in commercial spinning equipment which allowed them to grow their business.
Today, more than 40 years later, the Salinas Intercomunal Spinning Mill makes the yarn for our stockings.