The following is a photo entry from Chaya Shepard about visiting the artisan workshops and woven tapestry stores in Teotitlan, Oaxaca.
This is a spinning wheel in front of a loom in the entrance of a home in Teotitlan. This is a typical style loom in the city. They have two foot pedals that the weaver stands on, switching their weight from one foot to another to work them.
This is freshly dyed yarn ready to be woven into tapestries. The indigo, reds, browns and yellows are all made from natural organic materials such as plants, fruits, and insects.
This is the community museum in the center of Teotitlan. It costs 10 peso to go in.
Josefina tapestry shop. The father, daughter and son-in-law of this family do the highest quality weaving we saw in Teotitlan. The family is very friendly, their daughters played with Petra while we got a lesson in natural dyes and shopped.
Every block has at least one house with a sign out front and a rug hanging down to indicate a tapestry shop. These people have their looms and showrooms in the front rooms of their homes and welcome you in to buy directly from the artisans. This is one of the pleasures of going to Teotitlan. Being able to go into the family homes and peek around. And buying the art directly from the family that makes it.
This cactus is covered in insects that are crushed and used to dye yarn red for weaving. Sometimes limestone or lemon juice is added to vary the color a little darker or lighter.
This is a spinning wheel used to make yarn from wool. Behind it hang the finished tapestries.
These are examples of the the plants, fruits and seeds used to make different color dyes for the wool yarn. Many tapestry shops will give you a free demonstration if you ask.
Freshly dyed yarn drying on a rooftop of a house in Teotitlan. Almost all families in the town are involved in the tapestry business.
Petra was welcomed by all the friendly families in Teotitlan. Here she plays on a finished rug.