Wylde Brigade was founded with a simple mission: build the blanket you’d want to use
every single day.
We believe that modern design should not sacrifice social responsibility. Our homes should be inspired by the journeys we take and the stories we return with. By personally traveling to each country and using only local materials, we establish sustainable relationships with our artisans.
I consider it my job (and my privilege) to connect conscious consumers - those who acknowledge the importance of responsibly made goods - to the talented craftsmen and women who create our products.Rooted in traditional craft, these textiles have been a part of indigenous culture for thousands of years. We partner with master artisans, blending contemporary style with time-tested techniques. With each piece created, we celebrate the story behind the threads - the people, the culture and the community.
Leanne McElroy / Founder
On any given morning, the Ecuadorian town of Otavalo is a rainbow of textiles. It is a special place of history and tradition, where centuries-old artisan practices continue to thrive in villages around the northern town. The Indigenous Otavaleño people have been weavers since pre-Incan times. Wander through the village to hear the chatter of mechanical and manual looms at work. This is a town that winds down, not up,
in the evening, since so many of its residents rise early to make goods for the day ahead.
Our artisan partners proudly carry out a centuries-old art form in the creation of our blankets and textiles. They weave to preserve their history, heritage and family story.
A craft passed down from the generation before them, husband and wife Juan and Luz Maria are master weavers, creating some of the softest blankets in the highlands of Ecuador. Juan learned directly from his father, who was a pioneer of textiles in the area. Luz Maria gained insight and knowledge into the world of fibres and cloth from her father who worked with manual wooden looms. And they have passed on everything they know to their daughter Sandy, so that she is able to keep the family business thriving for the next generation to come. Together, for the past 25 years, they have built a family owned and operated business using age old expertise and cultural heritage combined with modern technology, and are able to provide steady employment to 15 families. Each and every purchase supports their ability to continue to grow and economically
support their community.
This cooperative of Zapotec women was started by Pastora, the oldest of five sisters, as a way to provide for her family after they lost their father. Over 25 years later, and this weaving group still exists as a way for single moms, widows, and unmarried women to make a living.
Smiles widen with pride as the women told us about the different stories and symbols found throughout their weavings. Symbols of beauty, liberty, nature and history are woven into each thread...everything that this cooperative stands for. These weavings aren’t merely objects to fill a home - they are artifacts of their own personalities and their Zapotec roots.
Local sheep wool is washed, combed, carded and hand spun into yarn. Yarns are hand dyed using all natural elements, including seeds, tree bark, bugs and leaves. Once the yarn is ready, a traditional pedal loom is used, and each yarn is woven one-by-one to create the design. Depending on the size, each rug (or tapete) takes about a week to complete.