It's obvious we have arrived at Teotitlan de Valle. Displayed rugs hang from almost every house and store front; their once vivid colors muted by long days exposed to the sun. We've come to this famous weaving village to replace the rugs in our camper. They've begun to disintegrate beneath our feet and never seem clean no matter how much we wash them.
After stopping at several stores along the main drag we turn down a side street and spy a building with a hand painted sign that reads "Josefina Mdz. Artesanias y Tapetes" hanging over a worn wooden door, reminiscent of a shop you might see in the 19th century, the quaintness draws us inside. Every inch of wall space is covered by stunning rectangular rugs. We're quickly greeted by a smiling woman who ushers us to empty seats around a display area. She begins showing us how the dyes are made. Removing a tiny bug from a cactus, she smashes it in my hand turning my skin bright red. She adds quick lime powder and the spot magically changes to purple and then a squeeze of lime juice that changes the color again. She makes other hues from various mixtures of indigo minerals, pecans, flowers, and pomegranate.
After she's done a tiny gray haired woman demonstrates how the wool is spun into yarn. Her movements are graceful and methodic, ones that could only come with years of practice.
We each get a turn on the wheel and it's quite laughable after her display.
Our attention is then turned to the loom where a man with the skilled hands of a practiced artisan shows how the rugs are woven.
It's a hard decision with so many beautiful options but we leave the store with two rugs and in an elated mood. Being constantly surrounded by shoddy mass produced items and thoughtless consumerism, this purchase feels really good.