cochinilla

The Ingredients

A variety of natural ingredients and handmade tools are used to make the rugs. Natural ingredients include, sheep’s wool, indigo (extracted from plants), flowers, fruits, seeds, tree bark, moss form rocks, moss from trees, and insects such as the cochineal.

Dyes

The Dyes

Most of the substances used to make the dyes are cultivated in house and we have a botanical garden to grew some plants that are needed for the dying process but which are in danger of extinction. Other plants and flowers we collect from the mountainous regions that surround the town because they grow in their natural habitat in the wild.

Loom

The Tools

The handmade tools employed include a card (which is made up of two paddles with metal teeth), a spinning wheel, and a horizontal foot loom. All of these tools are designs that were brought to Mexico by the Spanish in the 17th century, and their designs have not altered since.

Naturally dyed Yarns

Where the wool comes from

We purchase our wool from the Mixteca area of Oaxaca and we also obtain some from Argentina and Australia to make fine weavings. We don’t purchase wool from towns that are local to us because the colder mountainous regions lend themselves to producing better quality wool that is both longer and softer.

Supply and Demand

The only two materials that are purchased are indigo and cochineal; due to the heavy demand for the continued production of dyes it is necessary to purchase these two products. The cochineal is an insect that infests cactus plants and takes about 3 months to cultivate; it is for this reason that it is necessary to purchase the cochineal from a cochineal cultivating farm. Indigo is the result of the fermentation of the indigo plant and takes between two to three months, the process has been passed down from our Zapotec ancestors for generations.

yarns dyed red with cochineal

Let's get in touch!

If your interested in learning more about us please send us a message and we will get back to you with the answer to any questions that you have. Also, with prior notice we can give you a tour of our workshop with a demonstration of the processes involved in making our rugs.