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Threads of Liberation: XTANT Reclaims the Language of Textiles in Mallorca

In the sun-drenched tapestry of Palma de Mallorca this May 9th - 13th, 2024, a unique festival will reweave the threads of history and identity. XTANT, a vibrant gathering of textile enthusiasts, isn't just a showcase of ancient crafts; it's a rebellion against the industrial revolution's silencing of a powerful language. IRK Magazine ventures into the heart of Mallorca's textile renaissance, exploring the multifaceted tapestry of history, culture, and creativity that defines XTANT.

XTANT reminds us that textiles were once more than mere fabric. They were a vibrant language, woven with stories of culture, belief, and community. The warp and weft, before the dawn of words, expressed individuality and status, whispered tales of belonging, and celebrated the kaleidoscope of human experience. But the industrial revolution, like a greedy thief, stole this language. Mass production replaced intricate stories with sterile uniformity, homogenizing the tapestry of human expression. As the late communication scholar Antonio Pasquali warned, "control of communication is control of society itself."

XTANT, then, becomes a defiant act of reclamation. It's a tabula rasa, a blank canvas, where the once-silenced language of textiles is reborn. Master craftspeople from around the globe, their hands guided by ancestral wisdom, weave tales of resilience and innovation. Artists breathe life into ancient techniques, transforming threads into vibrant expressions of resistance. "XTANT aims to preserve and restore craft and heritage through curation, celebration and education." Says Marcella Echavarría, Co-Founder of XTANT. "Every year, we hand pick living masters who continue their traditions into the modern world; we celebrate their achievements and elevate their work to be presented as art; we educate the visitors to appreciate, honor, and choose these modern heirlooms."

The XTANT festival wont just be a marketplace for exquisite tapestries and intricate embroideries; it's a forum for dialogue. Workshops and talks dissect the history of textile subjugation and chart a path towards re-empowerment. Roundtables ignite discussions on sustainability, ethical practices, and the vital role of indigenous knowledge in safeguarding our cultural tapestry. "There is so much we are grateful , excited and wondrous about over the last four years." Kavita Parmar, Co-Founder of XTANT. "The event is growing and attracting the most amazing talent from around the globe, Besides becoming a beacon of joy and hope for any heritage textile lover, the XTANT leadership program that happens a week before the event is slowly but surely turning into a moonshot factory."

XTANT's spirit spills beyond the festival walls, into the sun-drenched streets of Palma. Heritage buildings, once silent witnesses to industrial tyranny, become vibrant canvases for textile artistry. Installations transform public spaces into interactive tapestries, inviting passersby to join the chorus of reclaimed voices.

XTANT is a revolution, not just of fabric, but of consciousness. It's a reminder that communication, in its purest form, isn't confined to words. It's a symphony of texture, color, and tradition, waiting to be rediscovered in the rustling whisper of a handloom, the vibrant hues of natural dyes, and the intricate dance of needle and thread.

The festival will radiate through the historic streets of Palma with a renewed sense of vibrancy and creativity. Heritage buildings transform into vibrant showcases for textile art, while public installations invite passersby to engage with artistry that transcends traditional boundaries. In this way, XTANT bridges the gap between past and present, inviting a new generation to rediscover the timeless beauty of textile craftsmanship.

When you find yourself amidst the vibrant threads of XTANT,  you're not just witnessing a textile festival; you're participating in a revolution, reclaiming the language of self-expression, one stitch at a time.

IRK Magazine invites you to embrace the XTANT experience—a journey that celebrates, educates, and inspires. Whether you're a seasoned textile enthusiast or a curious newcomer, XTANT offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in a world where artistry, history, and culture intertwine. Join us as we explore Mallorca's textile renaissance, one thread at a time.

"Registering into this marvelous tapestry of curated programs, whether it be the 10 day leadership program, the 3 day craft program or any of the individual workshops will delight your senses, deepen your connection to Mother Nature and link you into a universal community of professors, students, collectors, artisans, makers, weavers, spinners, dyers, artists, crafts persons, designers, architects, fabricators, culled from around the world. With VIP status you get first dibs at the Craft Market and an invite to the opening gala.  You don’t want to miss this….." Barbara Kramer, US Engagement Director.

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To register for XTANT contact:

XTANT aims to inspire the new generations to value sustainability, personal identity, tradition and responsible consumption over commercial tendencies based on unbridled consumption. The event offers many moments of reflection and communion with the unique, the beautiful and the long-lasting. Full of enriching conversations, workshops, rituals and textile exhibitions with over 65 master Artisans / activists / designers invited from 23 countries, XTANT| 2023 was a resounding success. Here is one of the keynote speeches by Satish Kumar that beautifully illustrates all the XTANT community values. 

Keynote speeches by Satish Kumar that beautifully illustrates all the XTANT community values.


The XTANT leadership program is a carefully designed and highly immersive curriculum that touches the mind, body, and soul. Featuring over 20 experts, from all over the globe, covering diverse fields, this program is inspired by the Shantiniketan school founded by Guru Rabindra Nath Tagore in 1901.

This master's program from the 1st to the of 9th May, is an inward journey of building personal and community resilience for these tumultuous times ahead, rooted in the five pillars of XTANT, consciousness, beauty, craftsmanship, time and community.

Only 25 individuals are chosen for this program each year from all the applications and we try and keep each cohort as interdisciplinary, international and intergenerational as possible.


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