Woollen Rugs from Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca
The beautiful woollen rugs of teotitlán and Santa Ana are of Zapotec an d Mixtec designs that refelect the history of the local area. There are also rugs that depict famous paintings and others with more modern designs. The rugs are woven on pedal looms with wool brought from the Mixteca region of Oaxaca. The artisans wash, card and make the wool into yarn which they then dye the yarns for the rugs with natural dyes that they also make in house. The design for the rug is then drawn onto the threads on the loom and the weaving then begins. Weaving a rug on a pedal loom is a slow process and it can take up to several months to complete a standard size rug if it has a complex design. The woollen rugs of Teotitlan del Valle are recognized for the handmade fabric in pedal loom. 100% hand woven wool. The threads used in the fabrics are also made manually in a spinning wheel with natural wool fibers, the wool goes through a prewash to be able to remove all the fats with a natural detergent (grind-a root that when scratched produces a cleansing foam for wool). Later it is passed through a process of carding the wool to remove impurities, (field wastes that stick to the sheep when they graze) in this process the wool is combed until it is soft and ready to transform it into threads. The raw threads in their natural color are white, black, light gray and dark gray. The dyeing of the colors to obtain different shades is done with natural pigments, we use the cochineal grana for the color red, orange or icing. This pigment changes the hue depending on the fixative that is applied.
The variety of possible designs is impressive, there are geometric, symbolic, minimalist design and much more. If the design is geometric it is necessary to draw it on a checkered paper to be able to have a scale and if the design is a literal drawing it is necessary to make the drawing on paper in the desired real size. It is possible to reproduce paintings (paintings of painters) on the fabric, those are the most laborious works. As for the finish it depends on the client there are some who like it with fringes and others without fringes.