For over two decades Escalante Rugs has worked with the
traditional Zapotec weavers of Oaxaca, Mexico to provide
for them a seamless outlet to bring their dynamic weavings
to a grateful world. Over that time, strong relationships – and
friendships – have been forged as Escalante works
alongside the Native American weavers to create a unique
mohair blended wool and to continually adapt color palettes
and design combinations to best meet the ever changing
world of interior design and decorating.
The expertise and commitment of owner Dean Bulolo represents
the second generation of Escalante dedicated to honoring
the history and the continuing culture of these gifted
weavers. The 100% churro wool rugs are splendid and the
unique Escalante churro/mohair blend makes for extra long-lasting,
heirloom quality rugs (mohair being the second strongest
natural fiber, behind the mane hair of a horse). Escalante’s
commitment to meeting clients’ needs is reflected
not only in the quality of the selection offered at Turquoise
Tortoise Gallery but in Escalante’s unique process
of color selection and design flexibility that allows clients
to work through the gallery to customize and add personal
touches to their own hand-woven rug.
The Zapotec Rug-Weaving Culture
The Zapotec Indians of Teotitlan del Valle, a small village
nestled in the Oaxaca Valley in the foothills of the Sierra
Madres of Mexico, are known locally as the “people
of the clouds.” And their weaving traditions, which
have been part of their culture for thousands of years,
are alive and well today.
The Zapotecs wove their textiles from cotton and other
fibers until the midseventeenth century when Dominican
friars introduced the European upright loom and sheep to
the New World. The following centuries confirmed the reputation
of the Zapotecs as premiere weavers of the “Americas”.
Despite recent cultural changes made by other native groups
in Mexico, the weaving traditions of the Zapotecs and the
impeccable level of craftsmanship evident in their work
Weaving is intimately tied to the family unit of the
Zapotec; everyone in the family participates in the process.
Traditionally, it is the Zapotec women who prepare the
dyes, card wool from the sheep they raise and dye the wool;
it is the Zapotec men who are traditionally the designers
and weavers. From a young age children learn to spin yarn
and make small decorative hangings and by their teenaged
years are supervised in learning the craft in earnest.
Nearly everyone in a weaving family is involved in some
aspect of the tradition by tending sheep, building looms
or spinning yarn.
Many of their geometric designs are found on the Mayan
Ruins throughout Southern Mexico and Central America. Other
designs include Southwestern and Western motifs, including
traditional patterns woven by all the North American Indians,
including the Hopi and the Navajo.
It is the Zapotec’s master-quality weaving, and
its important link to their family unit, that has directly
led to the sustained traditions and the flourishing culture
that continues for Oaxaca’s Zapotec people today.
16 x 40 small table runners
16 x 60 medium table runners
16 x 78 large table runners
2’ x 3’ rugs
2.5’ x 5’ rugs
4’ x 6’ & larger rugs