The ancient technique of ikat weaving received on June 24 the distinction of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Ecuador. The chasuble wore by Pope Francis at the outdoor mass of the Bicentenario Park was woven with that technique.
Carmen Orellana, 60, had the privilege of knitting the garment wore by the Pope, especially because she remembered her father was the one who knitted the chasuble Pope John Paul II wore 30 years ago during his visit to Cuenca.
She belongs to the fifth generation of a family of artisans dedicated to wearing manufacture, especially macanas (truncheons).
She explains that the elaboration of a macana starts with the spinning of wool and yarn dyeing with vegetable colors extracted from the earth, the tocte (walnut), fruit peel, among others. “Then for the fabric we use sticks to do the ikat technique,” she expresses.
The winder (that holds the skein of yarn), the cucuta (to prepare the bleach), the batten (tightens the thread) and others are wooden tools used to create threads and weave garments. It took five weeks to Carmen to tailor the chasuble Pope Francis wore at Mass.