I hear many people ask why these woven rugs are so unique when they admire these beautiful works of art.
How and Where to Buy Zapotec Rugs
There is a myriad of Mexican rugs to choose from. But, do you know what to look for and where to purchase the best ones?
At the beginning they looked very similar to me, from one store to the other, but as I compared them I clearly realized that having a high quality authentic tapete Mexicano that adds Latin décor to the space, and have the uniqueness of the culture reflected on the rug was top priority.
As I did more searching, I not only understood that this purchase didn’t have to break the piggy bank, but also that to purchase a high quality one understanding the process, where they come from, and what details to look for was very important.
Although it’s not too difficult to find them, you need to look into the finer details of the rug to ensure that you are getting the one that has the best quality.
How to Buy Authentic Mexican Rugs
Origin Is Important
Long ago, I learned through my Mexican born friend and importer Jose, that the best quality rugs come from Oaxaca and that Zapotec woven rugs is another name for Mexican rugs.
Know the Process
In the weaving process is where artisans use the best materials and hand down the secrets of hand-woven rugs from generation to generation. Think about uniqueness, no mass production.
As part of Hispanic culture and tradition, the best Oaxaca rugs are made up of sheep’s wool that is intricately designed in vivid colors.
Mexican weavers take pride in what they do by using the finest quality fibers to make Mexican area rugs as a tribute to their ancestors who mastered the craft of weaving.
The process starts after shaving the wool off the sheep and washing it clean with asmole, a plant in a nearby river. The artisans leave it to dry out and then the wool is carded.
With the carding action on the wood, the fibers that are naturally curly and wavy become straight, this makes it easier to spin them into the yarn. From soft sheep’s wool, it turns into soft and durable yarn to work with.
Next is to dye the yarn with bright colors like yellow, orange, red and brown. The best Mexican are rugs come from artisans that take the dye from plant life indigenous to the area like chamomile or marigolds for yellow, alfalfa for green, pecan shells for brown, and the bright red hues from a cochineal insect.
Although the same shapes are used in the design, you have a number of patterns to choose from.
A variety of lines can be made on the rug by changing the thickness running in the width of the rug. After dying the yarn, weaving begins.
Prefer Rugs from True Artisans from the Region
Can you believe that even today most of the work is done by hand? This gives each piece a very unique look, and makes each Mexican rug valuable.
As a general rule artisans who come from a long tradition of weaving are the best. They produce exquisite Mexican area rugs of high quality, so look for the place or origin and history of the artisan when possible.
Look at the Fine Details of Your Mexican Rug
- Since the rugs are handmade make sure they have straight edges when you place them on the floor.
- Test the dying by wetting one colorful edge and taking the excess water with a white napkin to see if it leaves residue.
- Test the threading to be tight and even, never loose. Think of about 20 threads per inch and you will be fine.
- Designs should stretch lengthwise from one side to another.
- Workmanship should be seamless to the point that you wouldn’t know which side of the rug is the right side.
- Choose wool not polymer fibers because this is an indication of being mass produced. When you choose a Zapotec rug made of wool you can be sure your rug will have more texture, durability and quality fibers.The beauty is that even if the pattern you buy is similar to another, it will have something that will set it apart from any other rug.
Mexican Rugs and Home Décor
In line with versatility, you can also use these beautifully handcrafted rugs as wall décor rather than plopping them on the floor of your home.
Designs that come out from the yarn are quite exquisite and come off as truly Hispanic. There are several ways to display and enjoy Mexican rugs. Think about the space, from there you can decide the size of your Zapotec rug.
Generally 2×3 feet rugs are for the entrance as a doormat. You can also find smaller rugs that you can use for tables. 3×5 and 4×6 serve as floor mats, and 5×6 and larger are area rugs.
Using them as throws, runners, area rugs, and even blankets is common. Some people display them of the walls like works of art.
One important tip I found is that once you receive your Mexican rug you should place it in a plastic bag in the freezer for a couple of days to kill any eggs from bugs that may be in it.
Doing a thorough search I found that one of the best Zapotec rugs come from Novica. They are all hand made by artisans who keep the tradition alive, the quality is exceptional and the price is right.
These Zapotec rugs are truly a work of art, an authentic and unique piece made one by one!