Colors with Roots: The Vivid Dyes of Tlaquilpa

Artisans of the Sierra de Zongolica, Veracruz, a Color Palette of Tlaquilpa

Artisan of the Tekimalaktl Collective, in Tlaquilpa, Veracruz, Mexico. (2023-08-27) by Manuel de Jesús Pérez GarcíaSecretaría de Cultura

Between threads and mountains

Tlaquilpa, located in the Sierra de Zongolica, Veracruz, bears witness to the artisanal legacy woven by Nancy Carvajal and her mother, Matilde García Tentzohua.

Works of the Tekimalaktl Collective, in Tlaquilpa, Veracruz, Mexico. (2023-08-27) by Manuel de Jesús Pérez GarcíaSecretaría de Cultura

Colorful traditions

Mexico shines through its vitality: vibrant villages, radiant people, and colorful clothing. In Tlaquilpa, sheepskin wool is fused with shades, creating a mosaic of cultural heritage.

Fabrics from the Tekimalaktl Collective, in Tlaquilpa, Veracruz, Mexico. (2023-08-27) by Manuel de Jesús Pérez GarcíaSecretaría de Cultura

Expanding colors

In times of old, the wool reflected the shade of the sheep. Today, thanks to innovations and varied color palettes, artisans have a wider canvas at their disposal to express their art.

Tekimalaktl Collective, in Tlaquilpa, Veracruz, Mexico. (2023-08-27) by Manuel de Jesús Pérez GarcíaSecretaría de Cultura

Natural inspiration

Each piece is born from a creative spark, where the nuances reflect the majesty of the mountains and forests they call home.

Sierra Zongolica in Tlaquilpa, Veracruz, Mexico (2023-08-27) by Manuel de Jesús Pérez GarcíaSecretaría de Cultura

Dyes and dyeing of wool.
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Organic palette

Nature is not only a source of inspiration, but also a supplier of insects and plants from which they extract the pigments that embellish and give personality to their creations.

Sierra Zongolica in Tlaquilpa, Veracruz, Mexico (2023-08-27) by Manuel de Jesús Pérez GarcíaSecretaría de Cultura

The amozote: A hidden treasure

For many, the amozote is a plague among the cornfields.

Works of the Tekimalaktl Collective, in Tlaquilpa, Veracruz, Mexico. (2023-08-27) by Manuel de Jesús Pérez GarcíaSecretaría de Cultura

The magic touch of the amozote

But in Tlaquilpa, its orange pulp brings magic to every fiber of wool.

Sierra Zongolica in Tlaquilpa, Veracruz, Mexico (2023-08-27) by Manuel de Jesús Pérez GarcíaSecretaría de Cultura

Secret colors

The amozote is only one of their secrets. The eno, or paxtle, which they collect for hours, gives the wool a soft green hue.

Sierra Zongolica in Tlaquilpa, Veracruz, Mexico (2023-08-27) by Manuel de Jesús Pérez GarcíaSecretaría de Cultura

Colors of the earth

These gifts from the earth infuse life and tradition into every fiber of wool.

Sierra Zongolica in Tlaquilpa, Veracruz, Mexico (2023-08-27) by Manuel de Jesús Pérez GarcíaSecretaría de Cultura

Fusion of materials

Not all dyes come from the same place. Nancy, having grown up in Mexico City, proposes the incorporation of new materials and techniques into the original processes.

Works of the Tekimalaktl Collective, in Tlaquilpa, Veracruz, Mexico. (2023-08-27) by Manuel de Jesús Pérez GarcíaSecretaría de Cultura

Pre-Hispanic techniques

Although cochineals are not native to Tlaquilpa, they have been used since ancient times as an intense red dye.

Works of the Tekimalaktl Collective, in Tlaquilpa, Veracruz, Mexico. (2023-08-27) by Manuel de Jesús Pérez GarcíaSecretaría de Cultura

The art of blue

Ground indigo, despite being foreign, brings deep blue tones to the wool. This technique is done in a pot where it is mixed with maguey leaves and urine.

Works of the Tekimalaktl Collective, in Tlaquilpa, Veracruz, Mexico. (2023-08-27) by Manuel de Jesús Pérez GarcíaSecretaría de Cultura

Bound together by the art of dyeing

Techniques and places are closely linked, such as the process of dyeing with indigo, which is practiced outdoors with inspiration from the tones of the forest.

Works of the Tekimalaktl Collective, in Tlaquilpa, Veracruz, Mexico. (2023-08-27) by Manuel de Jesús Pérez GarcíaSecretaría de Cultura

Dyed with amozote.
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The soul of the kitchen

In contrast, the amozote is prepared in the center of the house, in the kitchen, among stoves and conversations.

Works of the Tekimalaktl Collective, in Tlaquilpa, Veracruz, Mexico. (2023-08-27) by Manuel de Jesús Pérez GarcíaSecretaría de Cultura

Weaving stories for the future

The color of wool tells the story of Tlaquilpa, based on a deep respect for tradition and a constant evolution that weaves narratives for future generations.

Works of the Tekimalaktl Collective, in Tlaquilpa, Veracruz, Mexico. (2023-08-27) by Manuel de Jesús Pérez GarcíaSecretaría de Cultura

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