THE MENDEZ FAMILY | TEXTILE WEAVERS | THE OAXACA VALLEY
Weaving traditions in the Mendez family date back to the 1920s when Emiliano Mendez, the patriarch of this multigenerational family of master weavers, learned to weave from his mother at a young age. His strong interests in both the technical and creative aspects of weaving arts guided him to become one of the most highly-regarded artisan weavers in the Oaxaca Valley today.
Emiliano married Delfina Garcias Hernandez in 1962, and will celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary in November. They have passed down traditions in skilled weaving to their children, many whom continue in the family business today. These traditions are evident in their innovative designs, the quality and sophistication in their work. Every textile off their standing pedal looms is finished with pride to perfection.
The steps involved in weaving a finished textile are beyond impressive. On average, it takes roughly three full days to prepare one of their looms, four hours for tying the threads by hand alone. After washing, drying, sorting and winding the cotton thread onto enormous spools, it is then strung onto a traditional wooden loom. Over 820 cotton threads must be individually tied, a four hour process, before the loom is ready to begin weaving.
Witnessing the various stages in this incredible process has given me a new appreciation for handwoven textiles, while reinforcing the ethos of August Etta: support of handmade artistry, sustainability, authenticity & timeless quality.
My relationship with the Mendez family will forever inform the way in which I understand the lifecycle of a garment, those who bring it to life, and my design decisions in textile production for August Etta. Through sharing and honoring the Mendez legacy, I hope to inspire others to take a position of greater awareness in their own apparel purchasing decisions. To reassess the value associated in the cost of a handmade garment when factoring in the hands and hearts in the multiple stages of its production.
Sustainability and style go hand-in-hand, and couldn't be more evident than in the time sensitive nature of the Mendez's handwoven textiles. The generations of artistry within the Mendez family is a testament to the timeless quality of the textiles they weave, their love and legacy embedded in each fiber of their woven pieces. I am honored to collaborate with the Mendez's on designs exclusively for August Etta. Every handwoven textile off their family looms is made with heart, to be worn and loved for years to come.