South America, 1965-1966

In October 1965 Margrethe Hald embarked on the longest of her tours in search of the tubular loom. The trip lasted 5 months and took her through Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, and Guatemala, before she returned to Denmark on 16 March 1966. The first 4 months Hald had no luck finding the tubular loom but in February 1966, she visited the Colorado tribe in Ecuador, who wove on a tubular loom set up with a warp of the spiral/B type. In March, Hald had arrived in Colombia and went to visit the Guambiano tribe, who wove on a tubular loom of the A type - the same type, which had been used to produce textiles in Denmark in the Iron Age. Elated, Hald bought several looms and tubular woven fabrics to the National Museum of Denmark. 

Photographs from the Colorado tribe, Ecuador

Tubular Loom of the B type
Tubular Loom of the B type

Tubular warp set up on a two-beam loom using the spiral method. The loom was acquired by Hald and now belongs to the National Museum of Denmark, GenReg nr. H7043. Slide marked “310 Ecuador Colorados indianere 14.2.66"

Tubular Loom of the B type
Tubular Loom of the B type

Tubular warp set up on a two-beam loom using the spiral method. Slide marked “307 Ecuador Colorado 14.2.66”

Members of the Colorado tribe, Ecuador
Members of the Colorado tribe, Ecuador

Members of the Colorado tribe, Ecuador. Slide marked “304 Ecuador Colorado ind. 14.2.66”

Tubular Loom of the B type
Tubular Loom of the B type

Tubular warp set up on a two-beam loom using the spiral method. The loom was acquired by Hald and now belongs to the National Museum of Denmark, GenReg nr. H7043. Slide marked “310 Ecuador Colorados indianere 14.2.66"

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Letter from Margrethe Hald to her sister, Anna Hald Terkelsen, 2 March 1966

[I] Have now been on a lovely trip down South West in Colombia - 2 hours by plane and 2 days of planning - 2 hours drive out into the country. Found with the help of a teacher (Indian), a woman teacher [da. lærerinde] (mulatto) 2 looms - tubular looms with loops from the warp gathered across a string, i.e. Huldremose-technique - bought them, though it was difficult, also got 1 piece with the lock preserved, that is cylindrical - 2 women's skirts - open and 1 man’s poncho made from 2 pieces of tubular fabric. This is what I have been looking for but have not seen until now. Now N.M. [the National Museum] will get 2 “Huldremose-looms”!

Letter from Margrethe Hald to her sister Anna Hald Terkelsen, dated 2 March 1966 (The National Archives of Denmark).

Photographs from the Guambiano tribe, Colombia

Members of the Guambiano tribe, Colombia
Members of the Guambiano tribe, Colombia

Members of the Guambianos tribe. Slide marked “363 Colombia Guambiano 28.2.66”

Members of the Guambiano tribe, Colombia
Members of the Guambiano tribe, Colombia

Members of the Guambianos tribe. Slide marked “365 Colombia Guambianos 28.2.66”

two-beam loom with a tubular warp
two-beam loom with a tubular warp

Two-beam loom with a tubular warp set up for pile weave. Slide marked “377 Colombia Silvia 28.2.66”

Members of the Guambiano tribe, Colombia
Members of the Guambiano tribe, Colombia

Members of the Guambianos tribe. Slide marked “363 Colombia Guambiano 28.2.66”

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Tubular woven fabric from the Guambiano tribe

In CTR's Margrethe Hald Archive is a tubular woven fabric with its lock partially intact. Its provenance was unclear, when the project started but it is most probably a woman's skirt made by the Guambiano tribe in Colombia and bought by Margrethe Hald in 1966. The "Tekstilforskeren Margrethe Hald og arkivets mørke stof" about the fabric and the project was published in the Danish journal Dragtjournalen earlier this year and can be accessed via this link: Dragtjournalen-nr.-19.pdf

Tubular woven fabric from Colombia
Tubular woven fabric from Colombia

Tubular woven woman’s skirt from the Guambianos, Colombia. Detail showing one edge of the textile. The off white warp threads are probably made of cotton while the rest of the warp is sheep wool. Photo by Morten Grymer-Hansen, CTR

Tubular woven fabric from Colombia
Tubular woven fabric from Colombia

Tubular woven woman’s skirt from the Guambianos, Colombia. Photo by Morten Grymer-Hansen, CTR.

Tubular woven fabric from Colombia
Tubular woven fabric from Colombia

Tubular woven woman’s skirt from the Guambianos, Colombia. Detail showing partially intact warp-lock connecting the transverse edges of the textile. Photo by Morten Grymer-Hansen, CTR.

Tubular woven fabric from Colombia
Tubular woven fabric from Colombia

Tubular woven woman’s skirt from the Guambianos, Colombia. Detail showing one edge of the textile. The off white warp threads are probably made of cotton while the rest of the warp is sheep wool. Photo by Morten Grymer-Hansen, CTR

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Copyright belongs to CTR and the heirs of Margrethe Hald, unless stated otherwise.