The Montano family has always lived in the Oaxacan mountains but they have never stopped experimenting with new ways to apply their artistic heritage to contemporary trends. Traditionally, weaving was done on backstrap looms, crafting clothing for the cool mountain air. Designs were inspired by the family’s spiritual beliefs and surrounding landscape. Today the Montano’s weave the Zapotec designs of their ancestors into rugs using manual pedal looms. Virgin wool is locally sourced, naturally bleached and washed clean in the local river. Plants, fruits, seeds, bark and insects are used to dye the wool into vibrant colors, mixed together in specific combinations to make hundreds of shades. These combinations are never shared, like any good family recipe. The women prepare the wool, the men weave and the children start learning the process around age eight or nine.
Global economic recession and the slowing of tourism in Oaxaca have hit the Montano’s village hard. There is little certainty that the new generation of Montano weavers will make a sustainable income from the artisanal techniques of those that have gone before them. We support their academic education, while they receive their artisanal education, by investing 10% of our profits into scholarships for the Montano children.