The Mexican Rebozo: Ikat Traditions & Techniques

Feria del Rebozo: Ikat Traditions and Techniques

September 2021

Summary

Our trip is scheduled around the Feria del Rebozo in Tenancingo, the rebozo mecca of Mexico, known for exquisite ikat (jaspe) dye resist rebozos. We enjoy this unique opportunity to see (& buy) the “best from the best” for our special collections. Of course, lovely “daily wear” rebozos will be abundant, as we scour the plaza for the ones that “speak to us”. For those who wish to do the FULL Rebozo Tour, we’ll continue to Michoacan to visit special rebozo weaving communities and to learn about the rebozo as an essential element of Purepecha dress. We’ll return to Mexico City, via San Miguel de Allende and the fascinating town of Atotoniclo.

Trip Highlights:

  • See master artisans use intricate dye resist techniques, known as “jaspe”(ikat). We see the process from the creating of thread bundles, tying off to create a pattern or design, dyeing and the cutting to reveal the pattern. Finally, the warp threads are carefully lined up on the loom for the weaving to begin!
  • Visit the important rebozo making centers of Mexico, including Tenancingo
  • Enjoy the opportunity to see antique and present day rebozo collections and meet their collectors.
  • Learn about Heritage and Threats to this women’s garment, so important to Mexico’s cultural heritage and traditions.
  • Opportunities to Purchase Collection Quality Textiles at their source and to meet the artisans.
  • Appreciate how and why globalization is a threat to cultural diversity and is evident through changes in dress and textile traditions.

rebozo tour

Trip Includes:

  • Accommodations
  • Comfortable / Secure Transportation
  • Breakfasts
  • Meals according to itinerary

rebozo

rebozo

Note: Costs associated with trip interruption or modification due to weather, conditions, political/civil disputes, medical emergencies or other causes beyond our control. Travel Insurance is recommended for this purpose

Itinerary

 

Pre Arrival Day for those arriving to Mexico City: Wednesday, Sept. 1

Transfer to the hotel (cost not included) and will arrange a room-block at our Mexico City hotel (cost not included).

 

Day One: Thursday, Sept. 2, Franz Mayer, Robert Everts and Ruth Lechuga Collections, Transfer to Tenancingo, Edo Mex (B, L, D)

Today begins with an insider viewing of the prized rebozo collections at the Museo Franz Mayer. Some of these treasures date to the 18th Century.  We’ll pay a visit to the Patron Saint, “Nuestro Senor del Rebozo”, in the Church of Santo Domingo, to learn how the faithful offer their rebozos in hopes of healing and other petitions. After our visit, we’ll enjoy lunch in the Historic Center, before transfering to Tenancingo, Edo. Mex.,  the epicenter of the cotton ikat rebozo. We’ll check into our charming hotel, and time permitting, take a stroll to the market. (if we do not get to the market today, we’ll return on another day). Tenancingo is in a fertile valley, so the produce here is exceptional. We’ll also begin to see the the permanent rebozo stalls, that sell daily and collection quality rebozos. We’ll enoy a festive welcome dinner together.

  • See extraordinary historic rebozo collections
  • Learn about Nuestro Senor del Rebozo
  • Enjoy lunch in the Historic Center of Mexico City
  • Transfer to Tenancingo, take a stroll upon arrival
  • Enjoy a Reception and Presentation on the Mexican Rebozo
  • Welcome Dinner

 

Day Two: Friday Sept. 3, Visit Rebozo Workshops & Master Artisans (B, L)

This morning, we’ll visit the workshop of Fermin Escobar, who will help us understand the multiple steps that go into ikat rebozo thread preparation and weaving. Most of the work required to weave an ikat rebozo happens in the thread preparation phase. Fermin has 12 looms, so we have the opportunity to see a cottage industry approach to the production of rebozos. Then we’ll visit master Adolfo “Fito” Garcia, who has fewer looms, and is known as a creative master, designing with new colors and patterns for his rebozos. His wife Carmen travels to Toluca every week to sell rebozos.  After a fun regional lunch, we’ll visit the rebozo vendors in the permanent market. Evening is at leisure.

  • Fermin Escobar Workshop
  • Fito Garcia Workhop
  • Delicious regional Lunch
  • Visit rebozo vendors in the market
  • Free Time

 

Day Three: Saturday, Sept. 4, Rebozo Feria, Afternoon Visit to Empuntadoras and Mezcal producers! (B, L)

The first half of the day is dedicated to attending the annual Rebozo Feria! All of the reboceros, the fringe makers (empuntadoras), local designers come out to showcase their traditional and innovative designs. Adapted products are also sold, such as: handbags, change purses, shoes, dresses and other items, that are very creative.  After we have fully scoured the Feria, we’ll travel to nearby San Pablo to pay a visit to the empuntadoras (fringe makers). They will show us the multiple techniques they use to complement the ikat rebozo. They are a big part of the rebozo story and end result. We’ll also visit an area mezcal producer. Surprise! Mezcal is not just from Oaxaca! In fact some states, such as Edo. Mex., Michoacan and others have excellent mezcal. Our evening is a leisure…perhaps to stargaze!

  • Visit the annual Rebozo Feria!
  • Travel to San Pablo to meet the empuntadoras (fringe artisans) and visit an amazing mezcal producer (tamales and mezcal included!)
  • Evening at Leisure

 

Day Four: Sunday, Sept. 5, Last Visit Feria a.m., Visit Malinalco in the afternoon (B, L)

We’ll spend a little time attending either the Rebozo Feria, before traveling to the nearby town of Malinalco. It is a favorite place for “Chilangos” to go on the weekends, with it’s charming cobblestone streets, beautiful plaza, stunning murals in the Dominican convent, and for those who want to climb, a fantastic prehispanic site, of the extended Aztec empire. We’ll also visit the small but well done Museum there. In between our visits, we’ll enjoy lunch at one of our favorite restaurants in Mexico! We’ll return to our hotel, and enjoy our own fashion show with our new treasures.

  • One last visit to Rebozo Feria in the a.m.
  • Travel to the charming, neighboring village of Malinalco!
  • Lunch
  • Return to Tenancingo, enjoy our own rebozo fashion show

 

Day Five: Monday, Sept. 6, Depart or Continue on Michoacan Extension (B, L)

For those doing only the Tenancingo segment, you will transfer to Toluca or Mexico City. For those continuing on to Michoacan, we’ll transfer to Morelia. Here, we’ll enjoy lunch and a lovely walking tour. Dinner is at leisure, but we can go to a favorite Mezcaleria as a group!

 

Day Six: Tuesday, Sept. 7, Transfer to Uruapan, Check into hotel in Uruapan, Travel to Angahuan (B, L)

Today we make our way to Uruapan, entering the “Meseta Purepecha” region of Michoacan. We’ll check into our centrally located hotel, before going to the community of Angahuan to meet some of the finest weavers of the brocade weave technique, done on the backstrap loom. We’ll share a meal with the Purepecha women, likely corundas and declicious “churipo” stew. Returning to Uruapan, our evening is at leisure.

 

Day Seven: Wednesday, Sept.  8, Ahuiran and Aranza in Municipio de Paracho (B, L)

Today we’ll visit two communities with outstanding and very different weaving techniques. In Ahuiran, we’ll meet the artisans who, on backstrap looms, weave cotton cloth, typically in striped patterns. What makes their rebozos so singular and identifiable is the fringe. Bright rayon threads are tied into the open spaces of the knots to create beautiful and bright patterns. In Aranza, we’ll learn about the technique called “pataqua”, a form of complex gauze weave, done on a backstrap loom, where the weft thread wraps around the warp thread.

 

Day Eight: Thursday, Sept. 9, Eduardo Ruiz National Park, Return to Morelia for Free Day (B, D)

After breakfast, we’ll visit the beautiful Eduardo Ruiz National Park, full of wild orchids and cascading waterfalls. It’s a lush and enchanting setting. Then, we’ll return to Morelia for a free afternoon, before enjoying a Farewell Dinner together.

 

Day Nine: Friday, Sept. 10, Transfer out

Photos From This Tour

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