Adolfo is one of the 4 artisans we work with at Chilpa.
Both his maternal and paternal grandparents were “reboceros” (artisans who make rebozos), so he started learning from the age of 7. He remembers when rebozos were made on a waist loom, meaning an artisan could make 3 rebozos on a good week. Around the 1940s the foot treadle looms were introduced and now a good artisan can make up to 20 a week (this is the weaving part only, there are 11 steps before this!).
Adolfo has 4 looms in his workshop (occupying the patio and the front of his house) and 4 artisans – all relatives – working with him.
The VENADO is his favourite rebozo to make. Even though one of his sons works with him, Adolfo’s main worry is that the younger generations are no longer learning the trade. The recent death of two old-time reboceros and friends reminded him of this, as the looms and the business remain stalled because there’s no one to carry on.
Next month he will take part in a fair in Chapala, Jalisco and his designs and rebozos have been featured in the reputed Museo Franz Mayer in Mexico City.