At MANOS DEL URUGUAY we believe we have a responsibility, that's why we create yarns that are beautiful, ethical and sustainable.
Every skein is an opportunity to help a Uruguayan woman support her family.
Manos del Uruguay was born in 1968 out of a simple question: How can we improve the quality of life of Uruguay's rural women?
The answer was in handcrafts, using skills inherited from our mothers and grandmothers and the raw material that we had at hand: wool.
That's how Manos del Uruguay was founded, to give Uruguay's rural women jobs, that would mean, not just an income, but also an opportunity to personally develop and gain independence, keeping their roots and traditions, close to their community and families.
All of our yarns are hand dyed.
The artisans use big pots heated by wood kettles, creating small batches of wonderful colors.
Our yarns colors are bright and wild, full of nuances and variations. No two skeins are the same, each one is unique, a testimony of a particular moment.
Keeping the traditional hand spinning skills alive is very important for us and it allows us to create unique, beautiful yarns.
Both Serpentina and Clasica Wool are hand spun by Manos artisans.
Every skein has a tag with the artisan signature and the name of the village where the cooperative is located.
This help us remind the knitters that behind each skein there is a woman, a story.
n 1968 five friends, Olga Pardo Santayana de Artagaveytia, Sara Beisso de Souza, Dora Muñoz de Cibils, María del Carmen Bocking and Manila Chaneton de Vivo shared their concern for the hard life and lack of opportunities of rural women.
They planned on selling the simple objects that the women were already making, wool blankets and horse blankets. They sold well and soon they were organizing workshops all around the country.
With the aid of social workers they committed to give the women the necessary tools to organize the production, administrate the cooperatives, deal with suppliers and customers and also the support in the difficult task of balancing work and family.
The founders ´ vision was always that Manos should not only be a work source, but a means of women’s empowerment and development.
Forming leaders that would move the organization forward was a main priority. Manos ´founders were great women that shared a huge work capacity and the conviction that no dream is too big.
Nowadays all of the founders have passed away, but their memory and legacy is still with all of us in Manos.
Manos del Uruguay has a social aim and we are a Non for profit organization.
We are organized in 12 cooperatives, each one is a workshop located in a small village of Uruguay’s countryside.
The artisans are the owners of the company and Manos ´ profits are shared among the cooperatives or re-invested in the organization. The cooperatives have strong bonds with the communities where they are inserted, with a positive impact in society and families.
Manos del Uruguay is a proud member of the World Fair Trade Organization, WFTO, since 2009. Fair trade supports the sustainable development of small producers, by offering better commercial conditions and protecting their rights.
Manos is committed to support the artisans bringing them tools for their development and promotion. We also look to share and promote awareness about the sustainable practices in the international trade.