New Mexchic Artisan: Everista Nieto Jimenez

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I had been looking for someone to knot macramé ‘puntas’ on the fringe of our new blankets for a while and was recommended to meet Everista, an octogenarian widow who lives around the corner from us in a traditional 1 room adobe casita. I went there today with the intention of casually meeting her to chat for about 15 min to see if she’d like to work with us on a few projects and I ended up staying instead for 3 hours. Fascinated, I stayed glued to the side of her bed where we both sat, listening to incredible stories of old Mexico: She grew up in the mountains, surviving on mostly on gorditas de haba (grilled tacos of fava bean paste) and the occasional deer or wild boar her father would bring home from a hunt. Kerosine lamps would light the early mornings to make tortillas and grind coffee and the nights when the women would macrame rebozo fringe. She said her family was lucky, her father had a knack for the hunt and did not abuse them or drink too much. Everista is a warrior woman to the core and is so smart, funny and open, and eager to share stories of her past.  She lives only with a grey cat named Gris. Her kitchen is in a separate cabaña made of wood, it has a little table where she eats, a wood burning stove, a teeny charcoal grill called an ‘anafre’ and a huge volcanic stone ‘metate’ to grind corn and coffee. She also has constant work, basically whenever she wants it, and with being such an expert at macrame, women from all over this area go to her to knot their rebozos. A complicated rebozo fringe can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 1 month to complete. 

She will be working with Mexchic to knot macrame fringe on some of our blankets and we could not be more excited and proud to have her working with us!

The Rebozo Studio

Alberta Segura’s world is a fantastic time warp back into old Mexico and she is justly proud of being the official keeper of her family’s old-world traditions and secrets.

The first memory of her father weaving rebozos was when she was 8 years old, sitting at his loom making one of his timeless creations.

As far back as she can remember, as far back as her family´s history runs, the art of rebozo weaving has been her family’s lifeblood and art. Her father, a master weaver, died two months ago and the traditional family business was passed down to her to uphold.

She is the last member in this long line of weavers bearing this knowledge and now works with a family friend in keeping her family’s name and art alive.

Her adobe brick house and studio stands close to the center of town, where off to the side facing a typical square open courtyard, two large and ancient wooden pedal looms sit.

The stucco which previously covered the studio’s walls has slowly crumbled off in parts, exposing the beautiful brown adobe underneath. Old clay pots and sombreros hang randomly along the walls accompanied by pictures of saints, rosary beads, old watches and a boom box from the 8o’s.

Rebozos are shawls, though not just any old wrap can be called a rebozo. A real rebozo must be finely hand woven on either a back strap loom, or as in Alberta’s family, a traditional wooden pedal loom.

They are typically made out of silk, wool or cotton. The textile is woven into beautiful colorful ikat designs with long

complex hand-knotted macrame flowing fringe.

As she sits, spinning little spools of black cotton thread to be used for weaving one of her Rebozos de Aroma she tells me her family, as tradition dictates, weaves 2 specific designs, one of which, in the photograph above, is called venado (deer), working it in a combination of 4 colors, black, white, royal blue and a beautiful rich caramel colored brown.

She also proudly shared that her family is one of the last to continue the tradition of weaving Rebozos de Aroma (scented rebozos) where hand dip-dyed jet black cotton threads are seeped into an aromatic bath of over 20 distinct dried spices, flowers, herbs and fruits.

The cotton readily absorbs the scent of this spicy tea, after which is hung out to air dry, then woven into a slick, solid black rebozo which will forever keep its scent, even after thousands of washings.

Mexchic is thrilled to have come across Alberta and her simply gorgeous work and in a few months time we hope we’ll have some of her incredibly chic rebozos for sale. Samples are coming in shortly and we’ll be taking pics. Stay tuned to see more as we’re diving head first into the world of rebozos, we’re also getting in touch with other talented weavers who will also have very distinct and refined work to compliment Alberta’s.

Feel free to write us with any questions or comments to mexchicdesign [at] gmail.com.

take a look at our on-line store for products using her textiles