Woven cotton cloth is used for home decoration (finished tablecloths and bedspreads, and unfinished yard goods suitable for curtains and pillows) and clothing, including shawls (“rebozos”). Cloth for home decoration is produced primarily in the Xochimilco section of Oaxaca City, as well as in the pueblo of Mitla, while cloth for clothing is primarily produced in Mitla.
Mitla, located approximately 45 kilometers (50 minutes or more) from Oaxaca, is home to the famous Zapotec ruins that inspire many patterns. The artisans of this pueblo create a vast array of cotton weaving for blouses, dresses, shawls (“rebozos”), shirts, pants, bedspreads and tablecloths. Many decorative elements exist, including patterns (especially those based on the geometric shapes of the local pre-Hispanic ruins), lattice-work within the weaving itself, and embroidery and crocheting added to the weaving. A daily market with all types of goods, but most especially clothing and other woven items, stands adjacent to the ruins that are enclosed by a wall of cactus. The winding road leading into the pueblo’s center (5 de Febrero) is similarly flooded with countless shops sporting rich displays of woven products.