Thank you to all Huarache Blog readers and úkata customers for your continued support! This is my first ever sale and I’m feeling quite excited!
Only for this coming month and leading up to Christmas, visit the úkata online store HERE and get 20% off the best crafted, all natural, Mexican Huaraches.
Simply make your purchase and at check out Apply a Discount Code code ilovehuaraches to redeem your 20% discount.
In a modernizing Mexico, traditional Huaraches like these might not be around for much longer, so snap them up while you can.
Free shipping to USA, CANADA and MEXICO.
Happy holidays and thanks again!
IX Style is a new socially conscious fashion brand that currently sells Mayan style Huaraches, while donating 15% of profits to provide clean drinking water to Guatemalan communities that have none.
IX pronounced “eeks”, is the Mayan word for water.
Started earlier this year, IX Style will turn 15% profits to affiliated charities in Guatemala that run projects which create water filtration systems and wells. Not only does this initiative aim to offer a healthier life, but also to reduce the time spent collecting precious water from distant sources. Thereby providing people with more time to study, or work and a better chance to break the poverty cycle.
For more info check out the IX Style website HERE
A few weeks ago Bill Gates mentioned the importance of prioritizing the development and distribution of technology for basic things like “child survival” in the third world, over the projects of global connectivity proposed by Mark Zuckerberg and Google.
Its hard to side with one point of view because essentially all help is good help. But from the comfort of our smartphone interconnected world it can also be hard to imagine the daily hardships endured by about 90% of the world’s population. Hours spent walking for miles just to collect dirty water, or fire wood to cook with. How can anyone find time to study, work and least of all surf the web, when so much time is dedicated to the most basic needs?
Just the other day I wanted to add a Huarachero to the online The Huarache Directory, but surprisingly he told me he didn’t have a phone, let alone access to the internet. It never occurred to me that the average daily wage in Mexico is about US$4 per day, which means that some Mexicans are working for even less (like many others around the world). So assuming the internet will one day penetrate to the deepest and remotest parts of the planet, the question is will those living there be able to afford access to it?
Sr. Alonso makes a “Petatillo” Huarache that has a unique Huarache weave. The name can be translated to “brick weave” and probably has roots in the Nahuatl word petlatl which is a traditional palm woven mat with the same weave.
But you won’t find a Huarache like this anywhere in Mexico that is outside of a 50 mile radius from his workshop. Because weaving a “brick weave” flat mat is one thing, knowing how to weave the same brick design over a 3 dimensional last, into a sole using just a single strip of leather is another.
Sr. Alonso is a humble man, I once asked him if he would be interested in collaborating with a small Canadian brand that had approached me, but he respectfully turned the offer down telling me “I’m getting old, I should be working less and not more”.
Nonetheless I was recently able to make a small order of “Petatillo” Huaraches from him to share with interested readers. You can buy them by visiting my store at the top of the page or clicking HERE
Free DHL shipping to USA, Canada and Mexico.
I was immediately struck by his Petatillo” design for it’s sophisticated balance of thick ruggedness and complex weave. What’s more these Huaraches use no glue, they are made using only natural tanned leather, rubber and nails! The rubber outsole is made from a thinned out recycled truck tire that uses chord instead of metal ply.
These are probably my favorite Huaraches, I like the last shape very much, but I especially enjoy how intricate they are and yet are handmade with only a few essential tools and materials. What’s more, like many traditional Huaraches they are also made without the use of any electrical tools. Like some of the best cooking they show how much can be achieved with so little.
They are also known as ” de campo” meaning for the field. The tight weave keeps the Huarache flexible and the foot protected while also allowing it to breath. Unlike most Huaraches the base of this “Petatillo” heel piece is nailed into the sole, this is to prevent stones and dirt from getting in under the foot.
It takes about 1 hour just to weave a pair of these Huaraches, which doesn’t include the time spent cutting strips and parts, pressing the insole leather to get it flat and stiff and nailing the insole and sole.
The vegetable tanned leather comes from a local tannery and though it is as rugged and natural as it gets, Sr. Alonso does a good job at thinning it down to a wearable thickness.
You can check out how this leather changes colour on a previous post titled “My Petatillos – Huaraches Get Better With Age” HERE
For more information about the process to make this “Petatillo” Huarache and my small challenge finding Sr. Alonso, check out a previous post titled “To Make a Huarache” HERE
Gracias Sr. Alonso!
Ralph Lauren has been designing Huarache styled footwear for several seasons. For 2013 the Huarache aesthetic was also introduced to the Vachetta Huarache Stirrup Bag.
I’m very pleased that Ralph Lauren acknowledged the design inspiration as coming from Mexican Huarache Footwear. And I consider it a complement to all Huaracheros that their craft is being applied to the highest levels of fashion.
Some examples of past Ralph Lauren Huarache inspired fashion footwear.
For more Huarache inspired fashion footwear check out my post titled “Huaraches; From Rural To Runway” HERE
For more Huarache inspired design click HERE
I was lucky to drop by Taller workshop of Huarachero Antonio Granadas last week to see a few new Huarache styles that he makes.
The recent wins at the yearly Huaraches Competition in Sahuayo had earned him a few orders some which he was busy finishing.
Below is the Huarache “Peinetón” named after the Hair Comb type leather tongue.
The Huarache “Petatillo Cerrado Combinado” is another example of how he also weaves different coloured strips of leather.
The Huarache “Marta Combinado”.
The Huarache “Pachuco 20 Vueltas”.
For more Antonio Granadas Huarache designs and contact details click HERE
In this a short video Huarachero Melquiades Robles Jara shows how to make a basic “Petatillo”, or “Zapatilla” Huarache.
Via VULTURE COMPANY
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.
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
With over 200 Huarache workshops and factories there are a lot of Huaracheros in the town of Sahuayo, Michoacan.
Last week I discovered a few of the finest.
As the price of Huaraches continues to drop, the quality of most Huaraches is lessening and they are being made faster with fewer weaves. Not because the Huarachero Artisans prefer this, but because most Mexican consumers aren’t willing to pay much more than $10-$15 for a pair. Unfortunately in a modernizing Mexico the lack of branding and the simple market retail locations do little to promote and elevate this sophisticated craft.
Luckily a few Huarachero artisans remain committed in maintaining their high standards despite the lessening demand for fine Huaraches.
Sr. Gerardo Seguro is one of a select Huaracheros in Sahuayo still making finely woven Huaraches. The ones below are called “Ranchero” Huaraches.
Sr. Antonio Granadas who lives across town also continues making the finest woven Huaraches.
The style below he calls Huaraches “Marta”. Keep in mind that woven Huaraches are all made from a continuous strip of leather that is gradually woven around the last and into the sole. This unique footwear construction process naturally secures the upper to the sole without the use of glue, knots, or nails.
He also makes the “Petatillo” Huarache for men.
And the “Petatillo Finito”, a Huarache so finely woven that the heel counts 45 layers of leather strip woven through it! Click on each photo for a closer high resolution look at these details.
Sr. Granadas is known for his creativity and for making unique Huarache designs.
His custom made “Piramidal” Huaraches below are some of the most interesting Huaraches I have seen.
These are his personal pair with a more traditional sole.
For anyone wanting to place an order, Sr. Granadas can be reached at 353.532.0996 and Sr. Seguro at 353.531.7265.