At Identidad Argentina we develop handmade products with raw and natural materials. In this process we use ancestral techniques in harmony with our traditions.
Cultures of the artisan's communities
We make rugs, pillows, blankets, and other decorative objects that reflect the link between the love of design, nature, and the people of Argentina.
We work in collaboration with artisans that live in the north-eastern provinces of Argentina and who are often in remote locations or in communities that are difficult to access. To balance the distance, with each group or artisan, the relationship is personal. Some products are made by families of artisans and others by groups that work together. How long they have worked in a collaborative manner, and where they are found, determines our form of interaction. Each group has its idiosyncrasies, its customs, and not all have the same means.
Production is dictated by the rhythm of nature
In Monte Santiagueño the women weave during the day in their straw and mud houses, on Creole looms made by the men. They combine household activities, childcare, animal husbandry, and other tasks with their work on the loom. Most of the looms are not inside. For that reason the production of our rugs relies on nature, the temperature, and the rainy season. In Spring and Summer the intense heat makes the work on the loom only possible at the start and end of each day before nightfall as many of these places do not have electricity.
Likewise the geographic and social aspects of the communities of artisans vary across the enormity of north-east Argentina.
The artisans in the altiplano region of Pun Jujeña, in the Jujuy province, who make our bags, differ from the artisans that weave our pillows in the Calchaquíes valleys at 7000 feet. Each one of these imprints a singular character on each product that makes them unique.
These pillows are made by twelve artisan families that live in the Calchaquíes valleys at 7000 feet. We use 100% wool provided by young female sheep from small local farmers. The process starts with the shearing which is done by hand, once a year, between October and December, before the rainy season. Once spun, the fiber is dyed artisanally in gallon buckets. In many cases using natural pigments from their estate and local flowers. Producing the fabric is slow and thorough work. An artisan can make between two and four pillows per day. The product is finished buy experienced seamstresses in Córdoba province.
Knitted blankets and pillows
These pillows and blankets are made in Buenos Aires province by a group of ten talented weavers. We use Merino wool, Llama fiber and mohair from Angora goats. The Llama fiber comes from small producers in the altiplano region of Puna Jujeña, in the province of Jujuy, which is at over 10,000 feet. It is characterized by a dry, cold climate. In the Puna, Vicuñas and Llamas run wild. The fiber is very light and silky.
The Merino wool that we use comes from Patagonia in the south of Argentina. It is one of the smoothest fibers in existence. It has thermo-regulating properties that allow it to adapt to the temperature of the body. Its fiber is white and opaque.
Mohar is fiber that comes from the Angora Goat. These animals from small family farms in Patagonia are manually sheared by the owners. They only shear thirty goats per day. Its fiber has a subtle pearly brightness.
Our rugs are made by experienced artisans that live in the Salta and Santiago del Estero provinces. The production process is entirely by hand. We use pure sheep's wool from inside the artisan's own community. Once sheared, the wool is classified, then washed with soap and water to take out the remains of grease, soil, and vegetation.
The yarn is made by women while they accompany their animals in the pasture. The dyeing is done by hand with dyes from the land, and leaves and bark from trees of the area. All of our rugs are made on looms constructed by the same artisans. Each one of them working in their own style, and it is for this reason that each carpet is unique, with no two being the same. Most of the looms are found under the leaves in the shade of a tree. In Spring and Summer, the temperatures are so hot that the work on the loom is reserved for the first and last hours of the day, before nightfall, as many homes don't yet have electricity. In the rainy season the rhythm is slowed. The total time to make a carpet is from six to eight weeks.
The fabric is the economic sustenance of the families and at the same time permits them to maintain the life of their traditions and ancestral customs.