QR Codes are Being Sewn Into History

Most of us have seen Native American weavings with rich symbols and signs on them. Such weavings are cherished among many Native Americans and the weavers take great pride in these creations.

Recently, a Los Angeles artists named Guillermo Bert noticed how the symbols on these weavings—rugs, blankets, tapestries, and so on—look slightly like QR codes due to the way they are stitched. That thought wouldn’t leave Bert alone and eventually, he came up with the idea to incorporate QR codes into these designs.

This idea gave birth to a project called Encoded Textiles. To kick off the project, Bert visited the Mapuche tribe in Chile and interviewed them to get their stories and histories. These stories are important to tribe elders, as many of their younger generations are seamlessly integrating into modern cultures and traditions.

After getting their stories, Bert created QR codes that linked to landing pages. These pages carry portions of the stories and family histories he received while speaking to the Mapuche people. He actually worked with actual Mapuche weaves to have the QR codes sewn into the tapestries.

The end result looks identical to their traditional crafts but, of course, has a modernized touch with these QR codes.

The content on the landing pages shares some of these histories and has been translated for a wider audience to enjoy. The Encoded Textiles projects will soon be seen in many museums and galleries all around the world.

This is yet another great way that QR codes can be used to help tell stories. They are more than just the latest marketing craze. When used in a context as seen in the example of Encoded Textiles, it is evident that they can also be used to highlight history and help others learn about a variety of topics.