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  • Women-of-Teotitlán-del-valle-artisans-studio-unseens3
    Women of Oaxaca
    Artist of the loom
    Material: Natural dyed local wool

    A dusty hour away from Oaxaca lies Teotitlàn del Valle,  the centre of weaving traditions in Mexico. Approaching the village, larger showrooms try to dominate the craft by buying up weavers’ products. We wished to establish a partnership that creates fair and equal opportunities for local artisans, without the presence of a middleman.

    Luckily we found a women’s cooperative, an organization providing amazing opportunities to local widows and single ladies. Unlike most other weaving businesses in the area, we can buy rugs directly from the makers. By cutting out the middleman, the artisans gain most value and respect for their work

    The cooperative is an initiative by Pastora, who welcomes us with a warm, double-handed handshake. Avoiding the piles of wool in the garden, she shows us the place where the women come together, and where the rugs are collected after the artist finishes the weaving at home. The organization not only provides jobs for the women, but it also gives social support through workshops and meetups every other week.

    Pastora decided to start the association in order to support single indigenous Zapotec women in the community, who struggle to take care of their family. A fair price is paid for each rug that the women make.

    All rugs made by the women are made with 100% wool and dyed by hand, with natural materials that are abundant in the region.