April 18, 2022
Something that characterizes our Mexican bags is that they are 100% artisanal and made out of palm leaves. This is a technique that has been around for many years. Traces found in the Mediterranean indicate that people took advantage of palm leaves to create functional utensils, either to sell or exchange them.
Soon, this task became a profession that spread throughout the world. And today, few people still carry out this process in an artisanal way. In Oaxaca, palm weaving is very common throughout the region. And besides being beautiful, it is very flexible and resistant. That is why at Azul Mejicano we decided to work with artisans from Oaxaca, to continue preserving the tradition and also help them to continue marketing their art.
Although palm trees are endemic to Europe, they abound in Mexico due to the perfect climate that allows them to grow tall and strong. Such is the case of the state of Oaxaca, a state that, thanks to its proximity to the sea and its tropical climate, is the ideal place to house palm trees.
Few of us stop and think about the first step in the process of weaving palm: the recollection. It is perhaps the most important step, since the success of the rest of the procedure depends on this moment. The first thing the artisans must do is cut the palm with a sickle, which, by the way, is made for this sole purpose. Then they are all put together and tied up for transportation. Finally, they are spread out in the sun to dry. It is here that they lose their green color and adopt their characteristic color.
The next step is vital to be able to manipulate the leaves because with dry leaves it would be very difficult to braid them and not break them. In order to obtain elastic leaves, craftswomen blanch the leaves in boiling water to make them soft. Then they let them dry for a day to get the desired result.
Afterwards, it's time to choose the best leaves to work with. The stems are cut and the most suitable for braiding are selected one by one. Sometimes the artists can dye the leaves with natural pigments found in plants of the region. After all this process, the artisans finally get to create their designs and sew the braids, which is complicated since it is done with the same palm leaf. This is where the true talent of the craftswoman is reflected. It is worth mentioning that each design and technique are traditions that are passed down from generation to generation, and this is where the true value behind each piece stands out.
Behind all our bags is the culture, art, tradition, passion, and talent of Oaxacan women who are responsible for capturing beautiful designs that preserve this beautiful regional art. Azul Mejicano would not be what it is today without these women who produce incredible bags from the palm weave every day.
Therefore, when you buy a bag in Azul Mejicano you are not only helping them and their families, but you are also supporting this craft that is in danger of disappearing. Sara, Alicia, Wendolyn, and Marcela are experts in palm weaving and are the women behind the Azul Mejicano bags. If you want to know more about them and how you can help them, we invite you to visit our artisan section. Thank you so much for your purchase!
December 15, 2022
December 15, 2022