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ART IN MOTION

This beautiful handmade bag pays homage to our history. The design is from a tile from the early 20th century.

Embroided history

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Why we do

WHAT WE DO

We design products made with traditional techniques, natural fibers, local woods, made by artisans from rural communities in Yucatan

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Paloma's Picks

As a self-adopted Mexican, Paloma's love for all things handmade that reinforce the rich history of this beautiful country is endless.

Always looking for those special pieces that inspire her and help promote the artisan community.

You will find this space dotted with magnificent pieces.

Check them out!

Paloma's Picks here

the hands

BEHIND THE BEAUTY

We work hand in hand with groups of artisans from five rural communities of the Yucatan Peninsula. Our team travels to each location weekly and offers consistent orders throughout the year to artisans who work from home; The Mayan ladies can thus attend to their families, their homes and their crafts; these mothers improve their economic income, with our designs, local materials, traditional techniques and their talent, the artisans manage to create these unique pieces.

stories passed

FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION

Embroidery is the most widespread craft in Yucatan, as well as the most important traditional activity in the region, thanks in large part to the women of rural communities who practice it.

The techniques are very varied, since there are at least 20 types of stitches; In addition to cross stitch, the best known include colorful names that translate to “mouse rib stitch,” “dog tooth stitch,” and “shadow stitch,” as well as basting and Xmanicté, which are in danger of disappearing.

Recognized as Cultural Heritage of Yucatan, embroidery dates back to pre-Hispanic and colonial times. The charred textile remains found in the Chichen Itza cenote feature a style of sewing called Chui-Kab, which is still practiced in some regions of the state. The cross stitch, known in Yucatan as "counted thread" due to the translation of the Mayan Xok bi Chuy, became popular throughout the region with the arrival of the Spanish.

Mayan women who worked in Spanish homes are believed to have imitated the embroidery they saw and incorporated it into their traditional dresses, called hipiles. Over time, this technique has been enriched to the point of creating outstanding pieces recognized for their quality and mastery, such as the traditional mestizo suits.

The star, Hemp Henequen, also known as sisal, is a variety of agave native to Yucatan, called "ki" in the Mayan language. It takes eight to fifteen years to fully mature, and its fiber is used to make high-strength ropes. According to different Mayan codices, a highly respected priest, who was even involved in the founding of the city of Chichen Itza in 600 AD, was the one who taught the Mayans how to grow and use henequen to make hammocks and ropes. The craft was cultivated until the 19th century, when the demand for textiles grew to make sacks, moorings and ropes for sailing. In the middle of the 20th century, Yucatan was the only producer of high-value hard fibers; The high demand led to the development of haciendas, large estates that utilized the abundant local indigenous labor force, as well as imported Yaqui and Asian slaves from Sonora and Korea. From the "green gold" boom, all that remains in Yucatan are the magnificent mansions and the remains of old henequen haciendas. The invention of synthetic fibers beginning in the 1940s led to their decline.

Why our hats are Special.

Known as the Jipijapa plant, the toquilla or Panama hat palm tree (Carludovica palmata) comes from the Ecuadorian lowlands, named after a small town in the province of Manabí. In addition to the well-known hats, the jipijapa is used to make fans, earrings, bracelets and baskets, among other objects. Panama hats became world famous during the construction of the Panama Canal, when thousands of hats were imported from Ecuador for workers and worn by historical figures such as Theodore Roosevelt, Eloy Alfaro, Napoleon III, and Frank Sinatra. In 2012, Jipijapa hat weaving was added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Countries like Mexico have given hats new colors, textures, and shapes. Several Mayan communities in the state of Campeche have been dedicated to jipijapa crafts since 1800, when the brothers Sixto and Pedro García introduced the plant in this country: after a long trip through Guatemala, they planted jipijapas at the Santa Cruz henequen hacienda, in the Calkini municipality. The process of making the hat begins three years after the planting of the jipijapa, to allow its leaves to reach their full size. The shoots are cut so that the tender leaves can be removed and peeled with a needle. The stems are then boiled with sulfur to give it a yellowish-white color and are then left to dry. The quality of the hat depends on the hours it takes to make it: a looser weave hat can take twenty hours, while a tighter weave can take a month. Moisture is necessary to keep plant fibers flexible enough to be woven easily, which is why artisans make them in natural or artificial caves. To maintain the shape of the hat while it is being woven, artisans use molds made from local wood, such as guayacán, sapodilla or tzalam, or Caribbean walnut. Finally, the hat is ironed in a special press to shape it according to the model. Proud of their roots and traditions, the artisans of Jipijapa are characterized by their dedication, patience, and commitment. The vast majority of them learned to weave from their parents. Respecting what the earth gives us Tzalam wood Since pre-Hispanic times, the Mayans have understood trees as bridges between three worlds: the underworld, connected through roots; the ground, home of the living and where the trunks are; and the sky, in the canopies.

Tzalam wood is also known as Mexican Walnut. Its sapwood is a yellowish cream color, different from its brown heartwood with coppery or violet reflections. It is used for kitchen utensils, such as plates, bowls and containers, as well as for interior decoration on items such as floors or doors.

the star

HEMP

Henequen, also known as sisal, is a variety of agave native to Yucatan, called "ki" in the Mayan language. It takes between eight and fifteen years to fully mature, and its fiber is used to make high-strength ropes. According to different Mayan codices, a highly respected priest, who was even involved in the founding of the city of Chichen Itza in the year 600 AD, he was the one who taught the Mayans how to cultivate and use henequen to make hammocks and ropes. The craft was cultivated until the 19th century, when the demand for textiles grew to make sacks, moorings and ropes for sailing. In the middle of the 20th century, Yucatán was the only producer of high-value hard fibers; The high demand led to the development of haciendas, large estates that utilized the abundant local indigenous labor force, as well as imported Yaqui and Asian slaves from Sonora and Korea. From the "green gold" boom, all that remains in Yucatan are the magnificent mansions and the remains of old henequen haciendas. The invention of synthetic fibers beginning in the 1940s led to their decline.

What makes our hats are special

Especial

Known as the Jipijapa plant, the toquilla or Panama hat palm (Carludovica palmata) comes from the Ecuadorian lowlands, named after a small town in the province of Manabí. In addition to the well-known hats, the jipijapa is used to make fans, earrings, bracelets and baskets, among other objects. Panama hats became world famous during the construction of the Panama Canal, when thousands of hats were imported from Ecuador for workers and worn by historical figures such as Theodore Roosevelt, Eloy Alfaro, Napoleon III, and Frank Sinatra. In 2012, Jipijapa hat weaving was added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Countries like Mexico have given hats new colors, textures, and shapes. Several Mayan communities in the state of Campeche have been dedicated to jipijapa crafts since 1800, when the brothers Sixto and Pedro García introduced the plant in this country: after a long trip through Guatemala, they planted jipijapas at the Santa Cruz henequen hacienda, in the Calkini municipality. The process of making the hat begins three years after the planting of the jipijapa, to allow its leaves to reach their full size. The shoots are cut so that the tender leaves can be removed and peeled with a needle. The stems are then boiled with sulfur to give it a yellowish-white color and are then left to dry. The quality of the hat depends on the hours it takes to make it: a looser weave hat can take twenty hours, while a tighter weave can take a month. Moisture is necessary to keep plant fibers flexible enough to be woven easily, which is why artisans make them in natural or artificial caves. To maintain the shape of the hat while it is being woven, artisans use molds made from local wood, such as guayacán, sapodilla or tzalam, or Caribbean walnut. Finally, the hat is ironed in a special press to shape it according to the model. Proud of their roots and traditions, the artisans of Jipijapa are characterized by their dedication, patience, and commitment. The vast majority of them learned to weave from their parents.

Respecting what the earth gives us

Tzalam Wood

Since pre-Hispanic times, the Mayans have understood trees as bridges between three worlds: the underworld, connected through roots; the ground, home of the living and where the trunks are; and the sky, in the canopies. Tzalam wood is also known as Mexican nut. Its sapwood is a yellowish cream color, different from its brown heartwood with coppery or violet reflections. It is used for kitchen utensils, such as plates, bowls and containers, as well as for interior decoration in elements such as floors or doors due to its elegant coloration. Once worked, its texture becomes fine and naturally shiny. Its bark is used to make dyes that range from light brown with golden hues to dark reddish brown. Our artisans come from families that have dedicated much of their lives to tzalam woodworking. Wood is part of their identity, since the art of shaping and manipulating the material has been passed down for more than four generations. With the support of government agencies such as the National Forestry Commission of Mexico (CONAFOR), carpenters buy the material Premium in the Units of Conservation, Management and Sustainable Use of Wildlife, which are spaces authorized by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources with nurseries dedicated to reforestation and prevention of soil erosion.