Huarache Blog is also on Facebook to offer a community based platform for sharing information, pictures and stories relating to Huaraches.
It will also be a good place to find information and contact Huarache retailers who are increasingly adding their own Facebook pages (in case you were looking to buy Huaraches).
To visit Huarache Blog on Facebook click HERE
Huarache Blog está en el Facebook para ofrecer una plataforma basada en la comunidad, para el intercambio de informaciónes, fotografías e historias relacionadas con l’artesania del Huarache artesanal Mexicano.
Será tambien un lugar para encontrar informaciónes y contactar las tiendas de Huaraches que están agregando cada vez más sus propias páginas en Facebook.
Para visitar Huarache Blog en el Face pincha AQUI
The exceptional Raramuri, a people and culture have the attention of the world’s biggest sports brand.
In this a short video Huarachero Melquiades Robles Jara shows how to make a basic “Petatillo”, or “Zapatilla” Huarache.
Via VULTURE COMPANY
Huarache Blog often receives requests for wholesale orders on the Huaraches it photographs from Mexican and International readers.
Introducing the The Huarache Directory created to facilitate contact between buyers and Huarachero artisans.
Huarachero Artisans will be able to post a number of images of the Huaraches styles that they specialize in, followed by a brief personal profile, production capacity and contact information. Buyers will be able to select the Huarache styles they prefer and directly contact the Huarachero without making the long trip in search for Huaraches.
Click HERE to visit The Huarache Directory
Huarache Blog recibe muchas solicitudes de pedidos al por mayor de huaraches.
El Directorio Del Huarache Mexicano esta creado por Huarache Blog, para facilitar el contacto entre compradores y Huaracheros.
Los Huaracheros podrán publicar sin costo una serie de imágenes de los estilos de Huaraches que se especializan en, seguido de un breve perfil personal, la capacidad de producción y la información de contacto.
Los compradores podrán seleccionar los estilos Huarache de su preferencia y ponerse directamente en contacto con el Huarachero sin hacer el largo viaje en busca de huaraches.
Si usted conoce a un Huarachero por favor darles a conocer esta nueva oportunidad.
Cualquier artesano interesado en publicar su trabajo en El Directorio Del Huarache, hay 3 maneras de dejar su información de contacto.
1. Dejan un mensaje en Leave a Reply ubicada en la parte inferior de la página
2. Envíen un correo electrónico a firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Ponganse en contacto a través de Facebook buscando Huarache Blog
Hagan clic AQUI para visitar El Directorio Del Huarache Mexicano
Huarache Blog Tumblr is a page of other Huaraches images collected during travels and the web. Click HERE to visit Huarache Blog Tumblr.
Huarache Blog Tumblr es una página de otras fotos de Huaraches tomadas durante viajes y el internet. Hagan clic AQUI para visitar Huarache Blog Tumblr.
Luis’s huarache making workstation sits empty. After 40 years making Huaraches he’s ready to throw in the towel. He’s already two months behind on the rent for his workshop, so he says that he’ll terminate the lease and stop making Huaraches. But he hasn’t gone through with it yet, after years of struggle he’s still hanging in there hoping for change, working in the fields and doing odd jobs to make ends meet.
As I see it, although his workstation sits empty, its still there, just waiting to help make another round of Huaraches. Luis has his valuable Huarache making skills, he just needs to find a way to sell his Huaraches.
In a modernizing Mexico the traditional craft of Huaraches is undoubtedly facing its biggest challenges, but it is also at a dawn of a digital age that can offer big opportunities if only they can be grasped.
Luis was the second Huarachero I met in as many days who can no longer afford to make vegetable tanned leather Huaraches for the same low price of synthetic factory made sandals. He blames the retailers who aren’t willing to pay much more than 70Pesos ($6) per pair, but the bottom line is that the Mexican consumer isn’t interested in spending money on footwear that despite its unique design and natural leather also denotes a lower, farming, old world status (similar to cowboy boots in the USA).
Additionally the price of vegetable tanned leather in Mexico has been steeply rising for at least 20 years and although a few Huaracheros have reacted by learning to tan their own leathers, today they too find it hard to compete with the rock bottom prices of Mexican factory footwear.
Over the years the two-pronged supplier/retail price crunch has driven Huaracheros to make simpler designs faster with consequently less attention to detail. For a time the price advantage worked, but in the long run it has driven the Huaraches craft and its image into the ground.
Next time you’re haggling over a pair of 150 Pesos “Pihuamo” Huaraches at retail consider that the materials costs are between 75-100 Pesos. The retailer probably buys each pair for 80-100 pesos, earning the Huarachero 5-25 Pesos per pair of “Pihuamos” (which take at least 1 hour to make). Add other overheads like shipping and rent, and its clear that very little money is to be made weaving Huaraches, despite their unique designs.
So what is being done to empower Huaracheros and counter this decline?
In a few bigger towns with more Huaracheros, the local government has stepped in to help. Not for the first time government officials are holding town meetings to inform local Huaracheros on how to setup a co-operative. Over the years Huarachero co-ops have come and gone, I think mainly because the co-op stereotype also includes sharing facilities and making the same product. A large scale organization which is too complicated to follow by a group of highly individualistic artisans who are used to being their own bosses. Its interesting how these meetings usually begin with government officials explaining how a co-op is formed and each Huarachero leaving the meeting determined to set up his own.
I think that the co-op idea can work only if its developed as simply as possible, with the lowest investments and simplest function. For example limited to making bulk orders of raw materials at lower prices. And then once a community spirit emerges, the co-op can gradually be expanded to sharing facilities, production and sales.
But what of the hundreds of isolated, last remaining Huaracheros in the small towns, who cannot form co-ops? Huaracheros who’s last resort has become to drive around the small villages nearby, spending a day’s worth of time and fuel to sell only a few pairs and return home having sold none?
I started Huarache Blog because I believe the internet offers a massive opportunity of sales and promotion for both remote Huaracheros and ones working in bigger Huarache making communities.
But Huaracheros remain barely aware that the internet, let alone it’s commercial potential. They are mostly in their fifties, or older and have only ever dealt with customers by telephone, or in person by driving out to their stores. Additionally the Huarache making tradition is often strongest in the Mexican states with the least internet usage.
Source INEGI 2010
However because the children of Huaracheros all use Facebook very well, Huarache Blog has also started its Facebook page HERE to further encourage the growth of an online Huarache community and product exposure.
A Directory of Huaracheros
The idea began after I had spoken to Mexican owners of Huaracheria stores. They complained of traveling to buy Huaraches in important production towns like Sahuayo, and yet struggling to find many workshops and different Huarache styles. Because although there are over 200 Huarache workshops in Sahuayo, ask a taxi driver and they’ll only take you to visit their relative Huarachero.
Also given that Huaracheros prefer telephones to computers, Huarache Blog hopes to soon introduce the bi-lingual Huarache Directory. A website that showcases the work of Huaracheros and provides their telephone numbers for national and international orders.
Because just adding a few photos and contact details to the internet takes only a few minutes, costs nothing if you know how to and can make a huge difference.
Stay tuned for the Huarache Directory coming soon.
Unlike most mainstream footwear, Mexican Huarache footwear leather is still vegetable tanned using tree bark. Fewer tanneries in the world still offer vegetable tanned leathers because of the slower tanning process and higher costs of the natural raw materials used.
The natural benefits of vegetable tanned leather are:
1. The organic tanning process is non toxic and has a much lesser impact on the environment and the health of the tanners (chrome tannery workers have a 20%-50% higher chance of cancer risk).
2. The leather maintains some of its natural qualities to stretch and adapt to your foot shape.
A few months ago in a post titled “Taller De Curtiduria González – Vegetable Tanning the Best Huarache Leathers” I introduced Jesús and Antonio González the father and son tanners in Colima, Mexico who still practice this traditional and centuries old tanning method.
The González tannery offers a variety of hides from goat to pig and they also tan single hides for individual customers. But their mostly tanned leather is bovine which is the leather used to make Huaraches.
Their most popular item is bull leather which is tanned with the pod of local “Cascalote” vine. Bull leather is traditionally used to make Huarache soles, while Cow leather is used to make the Huarache uppers.
As many tanners are very guarded about revealing their process, I consider myself very lucky to have been so generously guided through their entire vegetable tanning process and gained greater awareness as to how Huarache leather is made.
What follows is the traditional vegetable leather tanning process used by the Gonzálezes. I have been hesitant to show it in its real, but gory detail for fear of damaging the appeal of Huaraches. But I believe that this quasi-handcrafted process and its product are noble. As one of the most environmentally friendly tanning methods there is, it should be promoted to hopefully increase demand.
WARNING: Tanning is the treatment of raw hide so that it remains stable and does not decompose. The photos in this post show the stark reality of the tanning environment that is necessary to provide the leather we use. Please be aware that the graphic nature of some images may be disturbing to some readers.
Please click below to continue reading.
Probably the most well known Huarachero in Mexico, with a client list of many famous “Tapatios” (Guadalajarans); Nicolás Lizares crafts Huaraches from his richly decorated ‘Taller’ in the historical mountain resort town of Tapalpa, Jalisco.
Like all fine Huaracheros you cannot find Sr. Lizares’s Huaraches in stores. He only makes Huaraches to order and during my brief visit he had some “Recargado” and “Petatillo” Brick Weave Huaraches awaiting pick-up.
If ever you’re near Guadalajara, be sure to visit the beautiful cobble stoned mountain town of Tapalpa and the workshop of Huarachero Nicolás Lizares.
The workshop is located on Zaragoza 16, Tapalpa, Jalisco, 049340, Mexico. Tel. 343.432.0376
Although I did not ask him about it, its worth noting that if you would like to purchase/order a pair does of Huaraches, but do not have time to return to pick them up most Huaracheros offer 2 options:-
1. To ship the finished Huaraches to the customer.
2. The unspoken option of selling an already finished pair which is awaiting pickup by another customer. Because the poached pair can be made again the following day.
The Museo de Arte Popular in Mexico City’s Historic Center is a new and beautiful museum showcasing the best of the many Mexican crafts. The 5 floors cover almost every kind of traditional Mexican craft, from fine weaving to elaborate pottery.
The museum has kindly allowed Huarache Blog to contribute to this wonderful collection by lending 2 pairs of Huaraches made by Don Salvador and Fernando Cisneros from Concepción de Buenos Aires, Jalisco. Here is a preview of those 2 designs before they are shipped to the MAP.
The “Arana” Huarache.
And the “Recargado” Huarache.
The “Recargado” Huarache is made with 64 overlapping weaves in the vamp and a total of about 42 meters of leather strip is used for every pair.
Next time you’re in Mexico City visit the Museo de Arte Popular, on block from the Alaaeda at Revillagigedo N.11. Free on Sundays.
For more information about the Museo de Arte Popular also known as MAP, check out their website HERE
A few years ago I posted many photos of their fine Huaraches in a post titled “Huaraches Cisneros, Un Huarache De Lujo – Luxury Huaraches from Concepción de Buenos Aires“.
Recently, I was able to spend the morning with Don Salvador and Fernando Cisneros and document some of their daily Huarache making routine.
For many generations the Cisneros have been making some of the best Huaraches in Mexico. Ask anyone in the know and they’ll tell you of Concepción de Buenos Aires, Jalisco and of it’s exceptional Huaraches.
Work begins at 9.30 am with the Huarache upper which is cut out freehand and draped over the last to make sure it’s the right shape.
To determine where each hole is punched, lines are marked out on the upper with the back of a blade and a compass.
While Fernando is cutting the upper, Don Salvador his father cuts the leather strips and skives them by hand. It usually takes a couple of passes until they are dead straight and of a consistent thickness.
Fernando in the mean time punches holes in the upper with a chisel.
Every now and then a customer will also come into the ‘Taller’ workshop to get a trim and Don Salvador puts down his knife and lends his excellent cutting skills to clipping hair.
A couple of Huaraches woven yesterday still need to be lightly hammered to smooth out the leather weave, this is called “Asentar”.
The upper punched and cut, Fernando hand stitches the “Fuerza” strip on the vamp using an interesting wooden leg vice to keep the upper from moving.
After which the sole is traced directly off the last and the holes are punched out. The process is all done by eye and no stencils are used.
Then the holes are first marked lightly on the leather sole with the punch and if they all line up they are punched out. Animal fat is spread over the area which is punched to make the hole cut cleaner.
Once one sole is punched it is overlaid to the other and the holes are marked onto the other sole. Each sole is punched twice this is construction technique specific to the Cisneros. Punching a slit into the side of each hole, to guide the direction of each leather weave as it makes its way back up the last.
The upper lining is stitched on and by 3pm the upper is ready to be woven.
For more information about Huaraches Cisneros click HERE