Oaxaca Sacred Textile Experience
Visit a local weaving collective and learn about traditional textiles from beginning to end from a local family
|Meeting Point||Pickup at your Oaxaca City hotel|
|End Point||Drop off at your Oaxaca City hotel|
|Duration||Up to 10 hours|
|Physical Level||Low – this experience involves minimal movement for weaving and harvesting leaves|
|Cultural Rating||Moderate – a good balance of cultural interactions, and engaging with a local family of textile producers|
|Group Size||Private – Max 6 people per booking|
Itinerary for visiting the Textile weavers near Teotitlan del Valle
You will be picked up from your Oaxaca City hotel at 9:00 a.m. to get an early start out to the weaving collective near the town of Teotitlan del Valle, which is internationally famous for its textiles.
We will be going to visit one family in the farmland between Tlacolula and Teotitlan del Valle where their home and shop are located. The weaving home is approximately 45 minutes northeast of Oaxaca. We will learn their story and family history, along with how the textile collective was formed.
Upon arrival, you will receive a traditional Zapoteco welcome – the local indigenous group of this particular region. We will be spending the first half of the day learning about the process of how the sheep’s wool is turned into yarn, with hands-on practice and participation. You will also learn about how some of the natural dyes are made, and be able to help dye some of the yarn yourself!
From the natural dye ingredient selections to the fermentation, to the dyeing itself – it is an ancestral practice that gets passed down from one generation to the next. You may be surprised at just how labour intensive it is, to turn these basic (and sometimes unusual) ingredients into the beautiful colours and dyes you see in textiles all over Mexico!. We are sure you will find a newfound appreciation for this ancient tradition and the labour involved!
We will take a break to eat some snacks and try some local drinks, such as mezcal and tepache – a locally produced beverage made from fermented pineapple and raw sugar.
Now for the really fun part! You’ll get to see how all these ingredients get turned into the beautiful tapestries you see all over Mexico!
There will be a demonstration of how the looms work. You will even get a chance to help thread one of the looms in preparation for its use! After trying some of the loom work yourself, you are ready to make your own mini tapestry.
You will be able to choose your favourite colours of yarn and will be shown how to spool the yarn for the loom. Once you have all your colours selected and spooled, you will be taken to another loom and start creating your own mini-tapestry – a woven table coaster for your morning Cafe de Olla (a local coffee).
Once we’ve finished the weaving, you’ll have an opportunity to sit down for a traditional family meal together, with some food you’re almost guaranteed not to try anywhere else! You can chat more about your experience, and what you learned together with your host family, before departing ways.
This is most of a full-day experience where you will learn and appreciate the hard work of the weaving families and communities of Mexico. It will be a window into a normal day in these people’s lives and allow you to connect on a deep level by participating in their activities and connecting to the land they live off. The objective is that you can get a bond with the sacred practices of textile production – in the ways the weavers have bonded with this practice for generations.
Please note: There is not a Dress Code! You will be visiting a traditional family in the villages, so dressing respectfully is appreciated. You don’t need to dress to impress – you will be getting your hands dirty. It is recommended to just bring comfortable clothes, which are modest, and that you don’t mind getting a bit dirty in. A more detailed list of suggested clothing attire can be found below.
What to bring on the Oaxaca Sacred Textile Experience?
Though this could vary seasonally, this is the basic list of what we suggest you bring with you. Keep in mind, your transport is private and secure, so you are able to leave some items in the vehicle when not needed:
– Jeans or long pants (this is most customary in Mexico, though shorts/dress are fine if you are most comfortable in that).
– Sneakers/comfortable shoes.
– Long sleeves or bug spray (there are mosquitos where we are going).
– Covid Mask.
– Cash. The producers do not accept credit cards if you want to buy any textiles after your experience. There is no pressure to buy anything. The producers always get paid fairly for their time, regardless.
What is included with the Oaxaca Sacred Textile Experience?
Your sacred experience includes:
– information provided before your experience to educate you and properly prepare you
– a specially trained and licensed English-speaking guide who will facilitate your experience
– transportation during the tour (a private vehicle to and from Teotitlan)
– translations with your weaving host family
– meal (includes a meal at the end of the day. Alcoholic beverages are not included with the meals)
– Mezcal and Tepache offering (please drink responsibly, you are at someone’s home)
– a special small gift to take home with you
What is not included when on your Sacred Textile Experience?
– Travel Insurance (Compulsory)
– International flights
– Transportation (outside of included itinerary)
– Accommodation in Oaxaca
– Alcoholic beverages (outside of the included mezcal tasting)
– Gratuities and tips
– Spending money if you wish to purchase additional textiles, souvenirs or items.
Supporting Local Projects with our TRiP Foundation
Every TRiP that you go on with WSE Travel, we will donate 2% (or $1/day per day, per person – whichever is greater) to an environmental or community-based project in the country you’re visiting. We want to ensure that every guest we help, in turn, helps support and preserve the destination we’re experiencing together as a direct result. We live by an ethos to Travel Responsibly & Impact Positively (TRiP).
For more information on the projects supported by this experience, please visit our Mexico TRIP projects.