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Rugs Yarn and Tapestries in Teotitlan Oaxaca

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The following is a photo entry from Chaya Shepard about visiting the artisan workshops and woven tapestry stores in Teotitlan, Oaxaca.

Large two harness floor loom in Mexico

Floor loom used to make rugs and tapestries in Mexico

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.

yarn for Oaxaca rug

Yarn for rugs made in Teotitlan, Oaxaca

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.

Rug museum teotitlan

Rug museum in Teotitlan, Oaxaca, Mexico

This is the community museum in the center of Teotitlan. It costs 10 peso to go in.

Teotitlan rug shop in Mexico

Teotitlan woven rug shop

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.

Rug shop in Teotitlan

Rug shop in Teotitlan

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.

Insects on cactus to make dye for yarn

Insects on cactus to make dye for yarn

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.

Spinning wheel for making wool

Spinning wheel for making wool in Teotitlan

This is a spinning wheel used to make yarn from wool. Behind it hang the finished tapestries.

Zapotec dye making materials

Dye making materials for wool in Teotitlan, Mexico

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.

Yarn drying in Mexico

Yarn drying on roof of house in Teotitlan

Freshly dyed yarn drying on a rooftop of a house in Teotitlan. Almost all families in the town are involved in the tapestry business.

Mexican yarn

Mexican yarn in Teotitlan, Oaxaca

Petra Shepard on woven rug

Petra on Teotitlan, Oaxaca rug

Petra was welcomed by all the friendly families in Teotitlan. Here she plays on a finished rug.

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Filed under: Art and Music, Craftsmanship, Culture and Society, Mexico

About the Author:

After traveling on her own for three or four years, Chaya met up with Wade Shepard, the editor of VagabondJourney.com. They were married in 2009, and continue to travel the world together with their young daughter. From time to time Chaya blogs about family travel and life on the road. has written 102 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

Chaya Shepard is currently in: Xiamen, China