Botanical and Cultural Adventures

Botanical and Cultural Adventures

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Weavers of Oaxaca

The traditional crafts of the Oaxaca valley are well known around the world, especially the weavers.  It is really quite an experience to see the traditional process from prepping the wool, spinning it, dyeing it, and then seeing how the patterns are woven.

Traditional method of dyeing the wool with natural dyes
The process is quite interesting. It is amazing how they can create a full palette of colors using only the minerals and plant material found around them. A little basic chemistry goes a long way in changing colors with acids from citrus and bases from minerals. Watching the color change in the palm of their hand is like watching a magic trick!
They even let us give it a try!
After watching the process of how the wool is cleaned, spun, and dyed we got a demonstration on how the different rugs, runners, purses, and pillow coverings are knotted up and woven. An interesting and precise process!  The master weavers had fantastic pieces using both traditional patterns and very modern pieces that truly are pieces of art.
A true master weaver

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