Weaving Magic Since 1920: Cotton Textiles by the Mendez Family

Emiliano, the family patriarch, and his wife of 54 years, Delfina, strive to produce innovative new designs on a yearly basis, along with the help of their immediate and extended family. The family are regularly chosen to participate in a host of exhibitions, and have won awards for their textile work that has helped to grow their recognition across Mexico and beyond. 

The story began in 1920, with the family of Emiliano producing backstrap textiles pieces on the family compound. He learned the family business at a very young age, following the death of his father, in order to help with the family finances. His mother taught him how to card, spin and weave with wool—skills that Emiliano absorbed with dedication and an innate attention to detail. 

When Emiliano and Delfina wed at 17 and 19 years old, they vowed to work together to carry on this family tradition. While the primary focus of their business has always been on quality, their efforts are also largely rooted in the introduction of evolving patterns, colors and techniques. Emiliano also took on the role of teacher and mentor in the 1970s and 80s, by instructing his family how to weave at a young age, along with providing classes for the local residents of their pueblo. 

The traditional backstrap work of his family moved into production on standing pedal looms—a transition that allows for more flexibility in the size and patterns of textiles pieces that the family offers. 

Textile production remains a family affair with Emiliano working side-by-side with his sons, nephews and grandsons in the rooftop weaving studio. Delfina and the women in the family champion the crucial marketing and customer service efforts, and also produce delicate hand-embroidered works. Our custom pieces were woven by three generations of men, assembled and sewn by two generations of women, and finished by hand with elegant hand finishes. 

Top photos by Ehren Seeland. Bottom photos by Patti O'Neill.