"Hello dear people of the world! We are the Ruiz Family, dedicated to weaving for five generations and today, three generations are still...
Read Full Story
"Hello dear people of the world! We are the Ruiz Family, dedicated to weaving for five generations and today, three generations are still at work in our home workshop. I am Francisco, the eldest son of Ofelia Ruiz de Ruiz and Manuel Ruiz Martínez. My parents taught me the skills and techniques they learnt from my grandmother María Ruiz, who in turned learnt from her parents. Each year the family buys a ton of wool from local ranchers and we process it ourselves. We card the wool by hand, spin the wool into yarn, dye it with natural dyes, and weave beautiful rugs as well as other items.
"Many people wonder about the colors we use, which come from a wide variety of natural materials like alfalfa leaves for green, rock moss or dried pomegranate skins for yellow, and bougainvillea blossoms for pink. We also use acacia pods for black, pecan shells for tan, cochineal for red, indigo leaves for blue, and a certain nut tree bark for brown. We carefully blend these pigments in order to expand our palettes. In addition, due to the natural differences in the coloring of the individual sheep, we often use natural, un-dyed wool in a variety of shades and colors.
"As many of you may know, our cultural and historical legacy is fascinating. The name of our town is Teotitlán del Valle, which means 'Land of Gods' in Zapotec. It is believed to have been the first village founded by the Zapotec people dating back to 1465. Prior to the Spanish Conquest, the weavers of Teotitlán wove cotton cloth to pay tribute to the Aztec rulers of the area. After the Aztecs surrendered to the Spaniards and their Tlaxcala Indian allies in 1521, new elements were integrated into the lives of the weavers of Teotitlán. The Spaniards introduced the fixed-frame pedal loom to replace the simpler back strap loom, and they imported the churro
sheep that grows the thick wool still in use today. The Spaniards then began to exact their tribute in the form of wool blankets and serapes, rather than cotton weavings.
"We hope you like our work, we weave with care and love, thinking that what you'll to see and feel must be nice and soft. We would like to hear your opinion, so write us back! We want to get to know you! Come and visit us, our heart will be always open to welcome you."