The non-profit association El Camino de Los Altos was established in Mexico as a result of a twelve-year collaboration between Mayan weavers in Chiapas and the French non-profit group El Camino, made up of eight professional designers all working voluntarily together to create a high quality collection.
El Camino de Los Altos recently held an exhibit and sale at the Museo Textil de Oaxaca, and I was fortunate enough to be in town that weekend at the start of the opening day. The group is composed of 150 indigenous weavers from five different municipalities in Los Altos de Chiapas. The aim of the partnership is to improve the living conditions of the weavers and their families, to contribute to the long-term survival of an outstanding ancestral art, and to provide the women weavers, who have been learning textile design for twelve years, the opportunity to grow professionally both as weavers and designers.
To accomplish these goals, the association has established a new training center where the weavers meet and exchange ideas with designers, artists, and others interested in promoting the collection. The designs combine bold, contemporary colors and motifs with ancient techniques and iconography. the materials used are of the highest quality cotton. The members of El Camino de Los Altos are also learning to manage and administer the association and market their products internationally. The association continues to seek financial support in order to promote and market the beautiful textiles.
The collection focuses on interior design, bed linens and accessories, in additional to shawls, table coverings, scarves, handbags and shoulder bags, pillow covers, and bed spreads. I loved the small, intricately hand-embroidered baby bibs that were on display alongside adult sized garments.
Most of the textiles are woven on pre-Hispanic backstrap looms using mercerized cotton yearn or sheep wool and dyed with natural dyes. The association includes the follow municipalities: Chamula, Larrainzar, Oxchuc, Pantelho, and Zinacantan.
Cerrada Prolongacion Peje de Oro No. 3-A
Barrio de Cuxtitali C.P. 29230
San Cirstobal de Las Casas, Chiapas
Tel: (967) 631 69 44