Mexico Textiles Brief: In Transit to Tenancingo

MEXICO CITY, Thursday, September 3, 2015–Today is an interlude in Mexico City as I travel between Oaxaca and Tenancingo, the ikat rebozo capital of Mexico. I’m joining Los Amigos de los Artes Populares de Mexico, a group collectors and appreciators of Mexican Folk Art.  We are traveling together to meet the grand masters of Mexican rebozo weaving in Tenancingo this week before the feria (fair, exhibition and sale) begins.10983127_1048672688498825_5904886409732194178_n

Most of these rebozos, or shawls, are made on the pedal floor loom or are machine woven now. Only a few weavers, like Don Evaristo Borboa, remain who work on the traditional back strap loom. This is an endangered art and on this trip we will meet Maestro Evaristo in his studio for a demonstration. Rebozo prices can range from 500 to 20,000 pesos depending on quality.

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The Mexican jaspe version of the ikat design involves tying the warp threads, then dyeing the threads, so the tied area doesn’t take the color, before dressing the loom. Then, the weft threads, also tie-dyed, are woven into intricate, repetitive geometric patterns. Sometimes, the cloth looks like it takes on the shimmer of water or a contemporary Agam lithograph.

Men are the weavers of the rebozo cloth. Women, the puntadoras, specialize in making the elaborate hand-tied punta or fringes. This can often take up to four months, depending on complexity. It may take six months to complete the cloth and fringe.

Click here to see my post on El Rebozo, Made in Mexico, the comprehensive exhibition that just closed at Mexico City’s Franz Mayer Museum.


3 responses to “Mexico Textiles Brief: In Transit to Tenancingo


    Hermoso rebozo
    de hilo muy fino,
    ropaje precioso,
    bonito, divino.

    Tu origen mestizo,
    producto textil,
    Dios así lo quiso,
    confección sutil.

    De lana, algodón,
    cáñamo, de lino,
    de seda o rayón,
    mejor que el armiño.

    Color de arrebol
    te tiñe la esencia,
    tu fulgor de sol
    hace diferencia.

    Naciste labrado,
    por manos de arte,
    serás adorado,
    quisiera besarte.

    A nuestras mujeres,
    como toda madre,
    con amor las cubres,
    ya entrada la tarde.

    Al ir a la Iglesia,
    dándoles calor,
    tapas su cabeza,
    frente del Señor.

    Parecen tus flecos
    de un sauce llorón,
    cándidos los ecos
    de su devoción.

    Eres una ofrenda
    digna de las santas,
    exquisita prenda,
    has vestido a tantas.

    Rebozo alabado,
    tu embozo es de luz,
    cual Manto Sagrado
    que envolvió a Jesús.

    Autor: Lic. Gonzalo Ramos Aranda
    Tenancingo de Degollado, Estado de México, a 2 de agosto del 2008
    Registro SEP Indautor: 03-2008-080613184200-14

  2. In 1996 I gave myself a birthday gift of a traditional Michoacán style indigo ikat rebozo while in the shop of the master in Pátzcuaro. It is worn often as are the other dozen or so I’ve gathered over the years.

    • Super, Mary. The BEST birthday gift, I think. I bought one last year for my birthday. Beautiful indigo and indigo/fustic mix. I brought it along on this trip. Perhaps, I will gather up one more special one! Thanks for sharing this memory. -Norma

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