Oaxaca state is the home of many talented artisans. We were luckily enough to visit the weaving studio of two of these artisans.
Rosario and Ernesto have mastered the art of weaving with wool.
Since we were lucky enough to see all of this first hand. We thought we’d dedicate a blog post to sharing their process so that everyone back home can get a glimpse into the process of some talented Oaxacan artisans.
The small town of Teotitlán del Valle is famous for its weaving talent. Rosario and Ernesto of El Tono de la Cochinilla are no exception.
We visited their shop and Rosario kindly gave us a demonstration of their wool-dying techniques.
They don’t just head down to the craft shop and buy a batch of commercially dyed wool to start this process. They are hands on for the entire process. From the day the wool ceases to warm the back of a local sheep to the day you or I leave their shop with our new artisanal rug.
Using all kind of natural products they dye sheep’s wool a variety of colours. Seeds, moss, herbs, cochineal and indigo can create all the colours of the rainbow. Some of these products come from nearby Chiapas, but most are sourced within Oaxaca state itself, some from no further away than their own back yard.
The real magic came when the wool was dyed with indigo. It starts out pretty yellow:
But as soon as it comes out of the liquid it starts to turn blue.
Here’s a short clip so you can see some of the skill that goes into carding, spinning and weaving the sheep’s wool into a work of art.
Rosario made carding and spinning the wool look so easy that Ben had to have a go at it. Turns out he’s not too shabby at it either