Photo Essay: Zapotec Rug Making in Teotitlán de Valle

by Ekua on November 14, 2010 in captured on memory card,Mexico

One well-preserved aspect of Oaxacan culture is traditional Zapotec rug making. While I was in Oaxaca, I took a day tour which included a stop in Teotitlán de Valle to see the step-by-step process of how the colorful rugs are made:

Carding the wool.

Spinning the wool into yarn.

Dyes are made by grinding natural materials (bark, flowers, seeds, dried insects) with a metate. Lime or baking soda can be added to alter the color of the dyes.

A pile of dyed yarn.

Weaving a rug on the loom.

Finished products.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Sonia November 15, 2010 at 2:59 am

Your pictures are wonderful! I love to see the entire process of making an original rug. Thanks for sharing!


Marsha November 15, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Ekua–these photographs are beautiful. So are the rugs!


Andi November 15, 2010 at 7:44 pm

Beyond gorgeous and now I MUST have a rug!!!!!


Ekua November 16, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Thanks for the feedback, gals. Seeing the process definitely made me have even more of an appreciation for the final product!


Sunee November 30, 2010 at 3:02 am

Fascinating! During my recent trip to Morocco we were taken to a rug shop. Didn’t get to see how they were made, but did get to take one home with me. Did you buy one as a little memento of your visit?


Lola December 1, 2010 at 2:36 am

Vibrant and beautiful!


Hannah Baldwin October 22, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Beautiful pictures! I love to see the process behind crafts. It’s fascinating and artisans exhibit a lot of care toward their work.


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