Our courses are run in conjunction with a Zapotec, family run weaving business where for generations they have followed the same techniques for dyeing, spinning and weaving traditional designs. All their methods are natural and ecologically based including the gathering of local plants to obtain dyes. They will be showing us the entire process from start to finish and providing hands-on instruction, step by step, to produce our own projects. Our couses are all suitable for beginners and advanced weavers.
Where we have the course – traditional Zapotec home and workshop
The course starts with a demonstration of dyeing using natural dyes. We will make an excursion on foot to identify, learn about and gather plants and seeds which are used to produce the various colours found in traditional Zapotec design. We will then go through the processes of how these dyes are extracted and mordanted to dye the wool.
Preparation of dyes from natural sources
Trip to the mountains to gather flowers and plants
Stage two continues with the explanation of how the specific designs are produced. Each individual will be given instruction on how to produce their own specific design which they will then progress as part of the course. This will be followed by instruction on how to set up the looms and the various tools used in the weaving process.
Hanging out dyed wool to dry
All the participants will begin their own projects under the guidance of the instructor. There will also be a study of various processes connected with weaving such as spinning, combing and netting, which traditionally were each carried out by a specific individual in the Zapotec community.
Hands-on weaving with instruction
The course finishes with all the students completing their own weavings. There will be a celebration and exhibition of all of the works of art! It’s traditional to toast the completion with a drink of the local mezcal – a rather strong alcoholic beverage made from the heart of the maguey plant – but this isn’t compulsory 🙂
Lesson on hand tidying finished product
And where we take our breaks