At Belart, all of our fique-agave jewelry pieces are 100% sustainably-produced, using solar energy. No power tools are used during the process, from seed to final product.
What is Fique-Agave?
The fique-agave plant grows in the Serrania del Cocuy (the Cocuy mountain chain) and the Tolima region, part of the Colombian Andes range.
Fique plants are used by farmers and the indigenous people of the region for food, medicine and to build natural fences. Its thick, fleshy leaves are bordered by spines that can reach six feet in length; each plant produces an average of twelve leaves every three months.
Jewelry from Nature: Working with Fique
When mature, the fique leaves are cut at the base of the plant and then the spines are cut off with a machete. Next, they are combed with a “carrizo” to separate the fibers from the flesh. The fibers are then washed, beat against large rocks to clean and then dried under the sun. Once dry, the fiber is colored with vegetable dyes such as achiote or water-based dyes. The final product is used for making beautiful, unique fique jewelry pieces as well as ropes, clothing, rugs, bags, and, most famously, tequila!