Dog lovers who want only the finest handcrafted accessories for their dogs need to look no further than the artisans who live along Mexico’s cobblestone streets. The artisans of Santo Tomás Jalieza handcraft a variety of quality textiles, and we’ve commissioned them to create a line of canine accessories exclusively for Ta ib. This includes handcrafted items like dog collars, harnesses, leashes, poop bag holders, and more from natural fibers like wool, maguey, silk, and cotton.
These incredible dog accessories are a testament to the tradition of storytelling that is engrained in the community, and to the family history that each piece represents for the women who create them. There are many communities throughout Mexico that create quality products and accessories, and you can find one such community in Oaxaca. This is the home of one incredible family of weavers, and Ta ib has partnered with them to create beautifully handcrafted dog collars and poop bag dispensers.
Visitors can stop in Santo Tomás Jalieza to see the artisans at work. Here, local women handcraft a variety of pieces from natural materials. Each piece is an individual masterpiece that tells a story about its creator, and through it, you can learn more about this tradition.
The City – Santo Tomás Jalieza
Santo Tomás Jalieza is a small town about 40 minute outside of Oaxaca, Mexico. The streets are lined with shops, stalls, and workshops that range from traditional to contemporary. Agriculture is a major industry in the town, but the city is best known as “the town of belts” because of the many artisans who live there and create beautiful hand woven items using a unique process on a backstrap loom. Most of the pieces are made using cotton, but other materials like leather, wool, and silk, can also be found.
Some of the most well-known places in the area include Casa Lecanda, where belts are made using mostly wool thread, La Salitrera, who experiment with different textile color combinations crafted in cotton threads, and Fábrica de Tejidos Manuel Romero Hurtado, which is one of the oldest workshops in Jalieza. But the artisans we’d like the shine the spotlight on are a small family co-op of women who have all been weaving unique pieces using the backstrap loom since they were old enough to hold the thread. These are the women who create some of the handcrafted dog accessories we offer at Ta ib.
The Artisans – The Mendoza Family
The women of the Mendoza family are masters of weaving on the backstrap loom, a unique tool we’ll talk about in more detail later on. Eustacia, the matron of the family, has taught the intricacies of her craft to her daughters from a young age. They work with her and other artisans in a co-op that ensures there is a fair, standard price for products and competition is low between all of the weavers in the area.
Eustacia is fond of her memories of her mother, who would give her a small slap if she made a mistake while weaving. Eustacia says that the trick when you first start weaving is to create a simple design and pay close attention to the edge to make sure it remains straight. This is the very beginning of the journey to becoming a master artisan.
Starting at a young age, Eustacia would weave her threads to create remarkable images and tell beautiful stories. She perfected her craft by experimenting while sitting on the floor, without using drawings or any calculations to guide her designs. All of her daughters learned this trade when they were as young as four years old. The relationship they all have to the loom is very much a part of who they are.
Because they are handcrafted, each of our dog accessories made by the Mendoza family is unique. Each artisan brings their own personal touch to their work, and their own memories and stories shape the final product in unique ways. When they are not working on commissions, they love weaving for pleasure and find this to be an opportunity for creativity.
Eustacia prefers sitting on the floor to weave and can remain in the same position all day long. Her daughter Abigail, on the other hand, prefers weaving while sitting in a chair and is also known for being skilled at working under pressure. These minor details affect the quality and creativity of each textile they make in fascinating ways. Each artisan is different and each of the pet accessories they create for us is unique because of their relationships with the loom.
Every dog collar is different because in its design there is an expression of how each artisan feels about their craft. These types of dog accessories are loved by pet parents around the world because they believe in the value of a personal touch to help the beauty and personality of their dog shine.
The Process – The Mexican Backstrap Loom
The Mexican backstrap loom is a traditional method for weaving, dating back to pre-Hispanic times, and it is still used heavily in many parts of Latin America. This type of loom is characterized by two bars, one being attached to a fixed object at one end and the other tied to the waist of the artisan at the other end.
For centuries, traditional backstrap loom weavers have learned their craft from another artisan, usually a family member. Each weaver passes on what they themselves have received from previous generations and learned through firsthand experience.
The backstrap loom is unique in that it allows the artisan to have a much higher level of control over the shape of the loom itself while weaving. Changing your body posture even slightly makes it possible to weave different textures into the fabric.
The images above are some pictures of the Mendoza family in action weaving on this unique and fascinating loom.
The Products – Handcrafted Dog Collars and Poop Bag Dispensers
Our Mexican handcrafted dog collars and dispensers for poop bags are among the collection of beautiful products the Mendoza family makes.
Uncomfortable and unaesthetic dog collars can be a major annoyance to both you and your dog, so it stands to reason that pet parents want their dog’s collar to be stylish, practical, and made with quality materials so it can hold up against daily wear and tear. More than that, it’s important for your dog’s accessories to reflect their own personal style without sacrificing quality or comfort. It also doesn’t hurt if you can get it for a great price, right?
This is why we partner with the Mendoza family and their town’s co-op to provide dog collars that are fashionable, comfortable, and meaningful. Since they are handmade, each dog collar has slight variations and reflects the interests that the artisan has in what they want to weave. Each of our dog accessories is made by hand with natural materials which do not cause irritation when in contact with your dog’s skin.
While you’re out on your walk showing off one of these handcrafted pieces, you’re obviously going to also need a convenient way to clean up after your dog. This means carrying poop bags, but it can inconvenient to keep these in a tight pocket or have to carry a purse on your walk. We carry three styles of handcrafted poop bag dispensers made by the same weavers to compliment your favorite dog collar, because who doesn’t love matching accessories? What’s so cool about this is the personal touch, adding meaning behind what many consider just another dog accessory.
Show Your Support
By purchasing from Ta ib, you’re not only supporting handcrafted work at a great price, you’re also supporting the artisans who are empowered to continue a craft that has been enjoyed for centuries.
Join our community of pet parents who appreciate the value of quality handmade goods and support small-town artisans by purchasing a handcrafted dog collar or poop bag dispenser for your dog