Pampa is a homegrown business based in Bungalow, NSW, founded by two photographers - one from Argentina, the other from Australia – who share two worlds, two visions and two cultures.
Every year they explore some of Argentina’s most remote indigenous communities, to seek-out the finest rugs that have been handwoven using traditional materials, designs and techniques.
“Pampa” is the word used in Latin America to describe the open plains, lands that lay uninterrupted to the horizon.
Each and every Pampa rug is a one-off piece, handpicked from the indigenous community where it was designed and woven. The techniques used to make the rugs are part of the fabric of Argentinian tradition, heritage and ancient knowledge.
Every rug is handmade from fibre to finished product using high-quality wool that is shorn, carded and spun by hand. Natural dyes extracted from plants, flowers, vegetables, insects, minerals and smoke are used to colour the fibres, occasionally with the aid of synthetic dyes. Using patterns and designs passed down through the generations and inspired by nature, the rugs are woven on traditional looms in a process that can take more than six weeks. Once off the loom, Pampa rugs are finished by joining two woven panels with a central seam.
All Pampa’s rugs carry the signature of the weaver in their individual design and slight imperfections. These are the things that make Pampa rugs a truly handmade product.
Koskela believes great design can be used to effect social change. Pampa believes the same and in a world of trading fairly. Each purchase of one of their rugs is not only improving your home, but improving theirs as well.
Pampa deals directly with their artisans because they believe in a world of ethically made and fairly traded products. Paying a fair price for the rugs helps guarantee their weavers receive the working wages they deserve. Profits from every rug are used by Pampa’s artisans and their families to cover day-to-day living costs such as buying food and clothing, paying school expenses, accessing medical care, and sourcing new tools and materials for weaving.
Preserving Traditional Art forms
Earning a fair wage has enabled the weavers to form their own co-operatives, giving individuals the added benefit of sharing materials, ideas and work loads. This flexibility means that the weavers can work from their homes and villages, eliminating the need to travel long distances to sell their rugs or find alternate employment in big cities.
By respecting each individual artisan’s creativity and technique, Pampa helps to give these communities a stronger sense of cultural independence and pride. Showing the artisans the real value of their work demonstrates to the younger generations that weaving is an honourable and profitable vocation, helping to preserve this traditional form of art for years to come.