Introducing Teotitlán del Valle
This famous weaving village is 4km north of Hwy 190, about 25km from Oaxaca. The weaving tradition here goes back to pre- Hispanic times: Teotitlán had to pay tributes of cloth to the Aztecs. Quality today is high, and traditional dyes made from indigo, cochineal and moss have been revived. The variety of designs is enormous – from Zapotec gods and Mitla-style geometric patterns to imitations of paintings by Rivera and Picasso.
Many tour groups are only taken as far as the larger weaving showrooms on the road approaching the village, which tend to dominate the craft here by buying up weavers’ products or employing weavers directly to weave for them, and then taking a nice profit on any sales. They also typically give 30% commission to tour firms or guides whose clients make purchases. For more direct interaction with weavers head on into the village itself, where blankets and rugs wave at you from houses, workshops and showrooms along the streets. Signs point to the central Mercado de Artesanías, where yet more are on sale.
Around 150 Teotitlán families specialize in weaving; they are often happy to demonstrate their techniques and methods of obtaining natural dyes. A note of caution: due to the popularity of natural dying methods among foreign buyers, some weavers may falsely claim to use natural dyes. Even though synthetic dyes take a toll on the health of the weavers and the environment, they are much cheaper. For helpful tips about making environmentally responsible purchases, inquire at the Museo Textil de Oaxaca in the city.
Teotitlán del Valle destination guides
Mitla and Santa Maria del Tule Sightseeing Tour from Oaxaca
See the world’s thickest tree, the Zapotecan ruins of Mitla and modern-day weavers at work—all on this 3-hour coach tour of the Oaxaca Valley. The substantial size of tule tree (Arbol del Tule) in the town of Santa Maria will take your breath away, until you turn your eyes upon the magnificent ruins of Mitla.
Day Trip to Mitla, Tule, Matlatan and the Teotitlan Valley from Oaxaca
Experience the natural and cultural highlights of the Oaxaca Valley on a day trip to several small towns and sites. You’ll be amazed by the sizable Tule tree (Arbol del Tule) of Santa Maria and the carbonized falls flowing from the cliffs of Hierve el Agua.