In Teotitlan del Valle, we visited The Bug in the Rug studio, run by J. Isaac Vasquez Garcia and his family. J. Isaac’s daughters Estela and Guadalupe were there to show us how the wool is carded and spun into thread.
J. Isaac uses natural dyes including cochineal to dye his wool. Cochineal is an insect found on the cactus, which is ground up and used in the dye pot. J. Isaac’s daughter-in-law, Lila, demonstrates how to grind up the cochineal. Cochineal produces a wide range of red/pink/orange depending on how much lime juice is added and how long the wool sits in the dye pot.
The Vasquez family has been weaving for over 4 generations. J. Isaac’s loom was built by his father and J. Isaac continues to weave on it today. His son, Jeronimo is a doctor but also weaves. Jeronimo’s son, Wilmer, is also continuing the family tradition.
A selection of rugs by the Vasquez family. Notice J. Isaac’s signature in the first rug in the bottom corner.