Today started off like most days in Oaxaca: first the birds began to sing at dawn, then the sun followed, peeking over the mountainous horizon and bathing the surrounding countryside in a beautiful buttery light that softens even the oversized spiny agaves that dominate the area.
After enjoying a cup of coffee and a walk with friends, it was off to the races…
Today was Mitla, a town about 45 minutes from here which specializes in textiles such as blouses, scarves, shawls and more. We went there to pay a visit to my favorite “textile” family, Emiliano, Delfina, Gabino and Mayra. These people are honestly, the back bone of Latin Threads. They supply much of our jewelry, scarves, and rebozos and each time we visit, our time together stretches into hours and we leave feeling as though we just arrived.
Today, however, was a disaster. In reviewing the work that was in progress we discovered that for some reason the thread used to make the scarves had a “sticky” quality that when woven produced a scarf that could only be described as bizarre and uncharacteristic. After much experimentation with different colors and threads, we determined we had real problem on our hands…especially unfortunate as much of the spooling work and even the weaving work for hundreds of scarves had already been started. A call was made to the factory, plans were made to send samples to the experts and experiments with local thread were made for tomorrow. We will be checking back with Mayra tomorrow to see what comes of all this.
Unfortunately, consistency at the textile factories is a major problem here in Mexico. Lot to lot, color can change, weaves change and the the quality of the weave can be variable… AND with the radical increase in the cost of cotton due to the loss of the cotton crop in Mexico, things are further complicated. Perhaps this is why my car is sitting outside packed to the roof with fabric that we will stockpile for our spring production. We have looked for other sources in Mexico but have not found alternatives to date. This is life in Mexico. One learns to roll with the surprises, to be resourceful, and to adapt to the situation.
Tonight I had a fantastic meeting with Eric at http://www.traditionsmexico.com. He has spent many years in Oaxaca, is an expert on the ceramics of Oaxaca and is a fountain of knowledge on all topics Oaxaca. Visit his site for information about his exceptional, in depth tours of the area.
Tomorrow? Stay tuned….