Basically only women and children of the rural area of Chordeleg participate in the production of toquilla straw handicrafts, as a complementary activity to their agricultural and household chores.

The weaving process of either decorative or utile models of hats is exclusively manuel and heir production requieres an enormous amount of creativity. These productos are famous all over the world for their attractive and colorfull desings and for their uncomparable quality.

Toquilla Straw This plant is cultivated in the mountainous zones of the coast and eastern Ecuador. Drying, the initial process of toquilla straw takes places in the same location as the production. From the drying plants, our Organization obtains the material to continue processing it. In the next process, the straw is smoked and whitened using wood tanks with sulfur; the straw is placed there for two nights. Soon the straw will be classified as ready for sale.

Dyeing This is final process before the craftswomen can begin weaving ther crafts. Tanks of aluminium, zinc or copper are used for the dyeing process. In these tanks, water and natural or chemicla dyes are combined with the straw and the boiled for 25 minutes at high temperatures.

Weaving Toquilla straw weaving is done in the homes of the craftswoman; they use whitened as well as dyed straw. Different wooden molds are used according to designs that they wish to create; in this way each completed craft is perfect whether it be decorative or utilitarian.