In the community of Pinotepa de Don Luis, situated on the Costa Chica of Oaxaca, artisans of Mixtec origin who are masters in the art of weaving on back-strap looms, weave beautiful cloth that they use in various types of dress.
The women weavers of this community have formed a cooperative called Tixinda which has over 60 women, both young and old, who are passing on the 3000+ year-old tradition of spinning and weaving from one generation to the next. The women hand spin the cotton thread which is locally grown.
The men of the area dye the hand-spun cotton using natural dyes, including the rare purpura pansa mollusk, the red cochinilla dye, extracted from beetles that grow in nopal cactus, and indigo of the native anil or indigo plant.
The thread is then painstakingly woven on back-strap looms by the women. They also grow and weave a rare brown cotton called coyuchi. In addition to producing their traditional dress, they also make table and bed linens, throw pillows and bags, using both traditional and contemporary designs.
It takes about two weeks of preparation and spinning to produce 1 kilo of cotton thread, and approximately 3 months to weave a traditional huipil dress using 4 kilos of thread, which is why their textiles are prized by museums and collectors.