These traditional Fajas or Womb Belts are made out of double cotton fabric. They wrap several times around the hips and the ends can then be tucked in or they can be tied with the plaits. The thick fabric has been woven on a pedal loom out of cotton, and the pieces are then sewn together from the edges to make it double the thickness of a normal rebozo – and have it give double the support!
They are made to bring comfort, support and protection – traditionally they are used as a protection for the energy center (known to different cultures under the various names of dharan, dan tien, hara, navel point — much like a kamarkassa (cummerbund) in Indian traditions, or a martial arts belt in other Asian traditions) and are part of Latin American traditional attire.
Using a faja brings tremendous nurturing support and warmth to the pelvic organs and kidneys to women while menstruating, when pregnant (they are tied underneath the bump for support under the bump and on the pelvis, helping with pelvic pain, lower back pain, pubic bone pain, helping to maintain an ergonomic posture …), during the postpartum, during a miscarriage, for endometriosis pains, after a hysterectomy… or simply while navigating life’s changes and rhythms or for support when working in the garden, on your allotment, etc. The thick fabric gives warmth to the kidneys, which also greatly helps with adrenal fatigue and burnout.
Several of the above reasons also make them perfect for men to use (my husband uses one!).
These are made by artisans in Oaxaca in Mexico to the design of the Colombian Chumbe.
The length is around 3m, plus the plaits/fringes (which make tying easy), and around 15cm wide. They are quite heavy: a Faja weighs around 550-600g.