Malinalco's master weavers apply time-honored tradition to timeless style


About us









Generations of Malinalco women have
worn the beautiful shawls called rebozos

Master weaver Don Isaac Ramos teaches
traditional waist-loom technique to his family

Daughter Camelia
had an idea


Visitors in the know who come to Malinalco like to stop in at the Xoxopastli, the shop where Camelia Ramos sells the museum-quality shawls created by her father, renowned master weaver Don Isaac, and other members of the family, including Camelia herself. However, Mexican women are wearing fewer of these traditional shawls these days, and Camelia and members of the Corner Project team had been brainstorming for some time about other possible uses for this gorgeous cloth.



And just when we were wondering about the best presentation for our Malinalco Migrants' Eagle brooches, Camelia came up with the idea of dividing shawls into pieces that could be finished with the pulled-thread embroidered hems she'd already started training local women to do, and using these as a backdrop for the brooches. We brainstormed together about design and colors till we came up with the scarf you see modelled here by Corner Project publications coordinator Laura Perez.


Finishing the hand-woven cloth with the pulled-thread embroidery hems turned out to be a truly inspired idea: the combination created a scarf with a lovely drape, feel and look, setting off the brooch perfectly, though it looks wonderful on its own, as well.


Meanwhile, our scarf experiment revealed a wealth of talent for fine needlework among the women of this area. A historian tells us that the valley of Malinalco was once a great producer of textiles, and it seems that though few outsiders know of this history, an extraordinary aptitude for these skills has remained. We are excited about the potential for developing these skills for the production of more such unusually fine products as the scarves



Camelia and her team of seamstresses created the scarf pictured here to go with our cedar-and-silver brooch and earrings. We are now hoping to hold workshops that will allow Camelia and her family to share their skills with others, so that we can increase our area's capacity for production while creating more jobs in Malinalco.


Support our work

with a donation