Driving around México one will sooner or later find towns and villages that are specialized in one certain thing. Like making guitars. Or rocking chairs. We even passed a town which was specialized in colorful wooden toy trucks. The whole town makes just that one thing. Everywhere you go, you’ll just find variations of that one special thing, different sizes, colors, but still always that one thing.
Teotitlán del Valle is a small town in Oaxaca State at the foot of the Sierra Juárez mountains where the people have specialized in handwoven rugs. They are descendants of the ancient Zapotecs and are still using the patterns of their people.
They use wool from local sheep which is for the most part dyed with local, natural dyes for example with the peel of pomegranates. The colors are beautifully earthy.
Our group of 6 adults and 6 kids came over this sleepy village like a busy swarm of bees.
The kids enjoyed the large, shady room in a artisan’s gallery and started running around while the adults where trying to figure out which woven handbags would be the best match to their other wardrobe.
We got a small tour through the rooms of the brothers Ismael & Edgardo, local rug weavers that claim to use only natural and organic colors.
We saw a couple of looms with rugs in the making.
Edgardo showed us how the weaving works.
We were all amazed by the rugs. And everyone of us had their own favorite color combination. I was immediately drawn to the lower rug in the corner, with the red and yellow smaller stripes and larger grey stripe in between. It took me a while to not buy it. No room in our trailer for it and especially now home for the next few months where we could put it.
If you’re interested in buying a handwoven wool rug from the ancient Zapotecs please let me know. We’re still in the area for a couple of days and I’d love to help you get one of those lovies.
Either comment below or contact me via this form.