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History & Manufacturing

History & Manufacturing

In Teotitlan del Valle, 30 km south of the city of Oaxaca in southern Mexico, now live about 4000 inhabitants. The majority of the population lives from carpet weaving. The considerable number of weavers in the tranquil village provide a high quality of their products. Many carpets are selected for the museum on the basis of its excellent arts and crafts style. Besides creative designs also numerous traditional Zapotec patterns, such as the "diamante Zapotec", the "tablero" or the "grecas de Mitla" embellish the carpets. Already during the time of the Spanish occupation, the Zapotec paid tribute in form of woven cotton cloth. Incidentally, during that period, the indigenous peoples of Mexico worked with cotton. Only the arrival of the Spaniards brought the sheep and wool production, and thus, the animal with the mechanical loom. Originally the fabrics were used purely for practical use, e.g. coats, blankets and curtains. Not until 60 years later were they used also for decorative purposes.

The weaving mill of ...
... Don Zeferino
The steps for preparing a carpet: 1st First, one had to purchase wool from the sheep farmers, which was white and black wool. 2nd Then it is washed - with Amol, a root which foams, tastes bitter and prevents moths and eliminates the sheep smell. 3rd Then the wool is combed into felt, with white and black wool and also gray can be mixed in. Therefore, the weaver has three base colors, black, white and gray.
Black and white wool ...
... felt int grey
4th Now, the felt with the help of a coil and a spinning wheel is spun to the actual yarn. Whereby very thin yarn can be used for figures and thicker yarn for larger surfaces and geometric motifs.

Winding the yarn
Natural colours

5th Subsequently, the rolled up yarn is washed before the costly process of coloring begins. Natural pigments are used which are derived from plants and animals.

• Cempasuchitl âžž yellow

• Steinmoos âžž green

• Nutshell âžž café

• bark âžž maroon

• Huizache Tree (Mezcite) âžž black

• Indigo âžž blue

• Cochinilla (Kaktuslaus) âžž red (about 40 shades of red)

The cochineal-louse lives as a parasite on cacti. When crushed, a purple red blood emerges. For the production of red pigments, the lice are collected from the cacti and dried with steam. The resulting granules are ground and can now be used for coloring. In order to use the pigments of the plants, the plants are mixed directly into the trough of the wool. The drying process takes about five hours.

6th Thereafter the yarn is dried for 5-6 hours.

7th Now the finished yarn is rolled into bamboo tubes.

8th These can now be attached to the loom and the manufacturing of the carpet can begin, which is done without knotting. The carpet receives its strength solely through the weaving process.

Drying in the sun
Don Martínez

What makes a quality carpet?

• the length of the wool

• careful combing and dyeing of wool

• purity and brilliance of the colors

• uniform weaving

• the density of the spun yarns

• At least 10 weft threads per centimeter

• pattern of the carpet as well as uniqueness and richness of detail


If you don´t find your carpet in our shop, so please tell us.

You can create YOUR own, unique carpet.

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