La Casa de la Makana
La Casa de la Makana
4.5

Top ways to experience La Casa de la Makana and nearby attractions

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4.5
40 reviews
Excellent
28
Very good
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Janet W
Brussels, Belgium223 contributions
Jul 2023 • Solo
This is an interesting stop if you’re in the area of Cuenca. There’s no need whatsoever to book a pricy tour here; at the bus terminal just take any bus to Gualaceo and tell the driver to let you off at the Casa de la Makana. He stops right in front. You just pay $1 for a short tour. I was on my own and the son of the owner took me around right away. His English was quite understandable and he explained the whole process. Learning how they made their own dyes was fascinating, using various plants (and even an insect) to obtain each color. When you see the amount of time it takes for each step, you can understand why a makana is not cheap. Their small shop has some lovely scarves, shawls, ponchos, ties, and even shoes made out of the makana material. It’s a family business that has been going for six generations, so they know how to produce quality goods, even in this very rustic atelier.

After visiting, you can hop another bus onto Gualaceo or back to Cuenca.
Written 1 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ldean3954
Arizona75 contributions
Jan 2023 • Family
I wasn't sure what to expect when I booked this tour through Polylepis Tours. This is a working family traditional textile mill. We saw several different looms in use, learned how natural dyes are made from plants, minerals, and even insects. There is a nice store there, but no pressure to purchase. I purchased a lovely shawl there.
Written 19 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

michael c
Stockholm, Sweden1,081 contributions
Oct 2020
to visit if you are interested in weaving. they will show you all steps of the process in their manufacturing.
Written 15 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stephen V
Cuenca, Ecuador758 contributions
Oct 2020
La Casa de la Makana is just a half-hour from Cuenca, in the Gualaceo canton of Azuay. Think of a canton as a county.
It is owned and operated by José Jiménez, a Gualaceo craftsman who is helping to keep the art of Ikat alive. According to the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies, Ikat is a Malay-Indonesian term for a dyeing technique that is “one of the most complicated approaches to dyeing found anywhere in the world.” José demonstrated to our tour group of four people what it takes to make the dye. My wife held out her hand, and our gracious host squashed some tiny insects (Cochineal) in her hand. He added liquid, and... Voila! You have an intense "royal" red dye. I use the word royal as only Inca royalty was allowed to wear cochineal dyed clothing.
All sorts of dyes are made from 'natural' sources that are created in lovely earthen pots. Lichens are for greens. Walnut shells make browns, and minerals from rocks produce greys. As for blue dye, Indigofera tinctoria is used. It is a species of plant from the bean family. As you can see... No chemicals!!
Ikat is one of the oldest forms of textile design, and although it is common to many cultures around the world, the weavings produced in Ecuador are considered to be among the best. In Ecuador and other parts of the world the tradition is in steady decline. The work of José Jiménez is internationally recognized.
There are so many beautiful macanas to choose from in their upstairs store! My wife and our good friend spent a good amount of time trying to narrow down their choices.
Everyone should make the journey to La Casa de la Makana to appreciate the beautiful handcrafted textiles! The colors and craftsmanship will have you wanting some for your home and to wear. To top that off, take your time to enjoy the simple, but beautiful pottery that adorns this lovely "house." You will leave La Casa de la Makana with a huge smile on your face because you experienced some of the great culture and history of this wonderful country. And hopefully, you are bringing some of that back to your home.
Written 6 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

FaithGlo
Dallas, TX33 contributions
Mar 2020 • Friends
This family run artesian business has been in business for decades! You can see them making the fabric onsite. Once you see the effort that goes into the fabric, you will want to buy any number of items in their store. It’s really close to Cuenca and really worth the trip.
Written 12 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Linette L
New York157 contributions
Jul 2019
We decided to make an unscheduled stop here on the way back to Cuenca from Chordeleg - it' s just off the road, and easy to spot. At the door, there is a sign indicating the short tour is available for somewhere between $1-$5 (I don't remember the exact amount). However, they did not collect the money from us - perhaps because we made a purchase.

They were able to give us a demonstration without waiting. We had a short tour with an English speaking guide (a member of the family - I don't remember her name but she was very nice and informative!) who took us through the different steps of the weaving process. (I really liked learning about how to make the different dyes). All together, it was maybe 15 minutes for the demonstration.

Afterwards, we shopped around the store. There was no pressure to purchase anything, but the fabrics are gorgeous. The prices are perhaps a little high, but not outrageously so (about $25 for a scarf, $45 for a shawl).
Written 22 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MartinDiaz
Fort Wayne, IN40 contributions
Jul 2019
We received a warm and kind welcome from Jose Jimenez and family. We enjoyed talking with him about Ikat weaving. Apparently there are only 12 families left in Ecuador carrying on this traditional form of textile production.They have a show room with reasonably priced items. No, they are not inexpensive, but given the amount of time and skill required to produce them, they are worth buying. We have been to many tourist spots where the souvenirs are actually imported, usually from China. It behooves all of us to support these local artists, to respect them and their work, by paying them a fair wage, as determined by them.
Written 18 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

robertOU812
Cleveland, OH735 contributions
Feb 2019 • Couples
As others have said, it is worth stopping here if you are in the area just to see it. The quality of goods is high but so are the prices.
Written 19 May 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CatharineB
Ottawa, Canada1,116 contributions
Mar 2019 • Couples
Ikat is a method of weaving that uses a resist dying process similar to tie-dye on the fibers. The dye is applied prior to the threads being woven to create the final fabric pattern or design. Upon our arrival, we met with Doña Anita, who is the owner. Her work is world-renown, even Selma Hayek shops at her shop.

She (and her employees) gave a great presentation on how she makes all of her material, and what goes into making her work. We watched her son work the old hand weaving machine, then she did the intricate knot tying at lightning speed.

It helped that we had an English speaking guide. Both Eva and I purchased a scarf - considering it takes 3 months to make a scarf, the $45 cost was unbelievably reasonable - especially with the beautiful and complex designs in the scarf's knotted fringe patterns.

The family works with fabrics in an artisanal way, rescuing and maintaining a legacy inherited from past generation. They have a small shop where you can find a wide variety of fabrics. We learned that only natural things from the environment are used to make virtually everything in the shop!

They made mostly colorful Makanas (quichua term) or shawls, made with a technique known as Ikat. This technique allows one to create colorful and colorful designs. It was interesting to observe how the colors are obtained from everyday elements such as leaves, flowers, fruits, insects, rocks.There are very interesting things all around the place, it's worth a stroll.
Written 21 April 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Thecatsmum4
Kettering, UK2,234 contributions
Dec 2018 • Couples
Small family run weaving business where the husband Jose Jimenez and his wife Ana demonstrated their craft from start to finish. Explaining how the yarns were died using the tradional methods followed by Jose at the back loom. The fascinating knotting that Ana finished off with was a joy to watch...the fringe held in place by a" very expensive house brick" whilst she worked!

They do only speak Spanish but we had a guide to translate with us. Do pay them a visit you won't be dissappointed.
Written 26 February 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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La Casa de la Makana (Cuenca) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

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