I’m starting to think about branding for Huarache Blog. Blogs are so informal it sounds silly to get into branding I know. But my thinking is that if logos can help remember a product, then maybe also a blog and in this case hopefully even the craft of Huaraches.
For those that are new to Huaraches, a unique feature of Huaraches is their construction method. Similarly to baskets woven Huaraches uppers are made without using glue. Instead a single strip of veg. tanned leather is woven to make the upper and is simultaneously also woven into the sole.
There is no other resource for Mexican Huarache footwear like this. Curious? Then please take a scroll through this website for more information and photos about this unique footwear craft.
They don’t make Huaraches soles as thick as these anymore. Huaraches “Tres Vueltas” from just outside the Central Market in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas.
Forgive me if you find this is a bit of a mash-up post, re-cycling already published images of Huaraches. However the information I picked up on a recent trip to Chiapas was too good not to share.
I have already posted about “Caites, the Evolution of Pre-Hispanic Footwear?“, but have recently found out how to buy them if any readers are interested in getting their hands on centuries old footwear design.
For anyone interested in “Caites” and considering buying a pair the first thing they should know is that they aren’t called “Caites”. In Tzotzil they are called “Cuch Chac Xonobil”, “Xonobil” meaning shoe.
Secondly ”Cuch Chac Xonobil” are mostly made to order and usually take about a week to make, so give yourself time to make the purchase.
The easiest way to order a pair of “Cuch Chac Xonobil” is to visit the Sunday morning market in San Juan de Chamula just outside San Cristobal de Las Casas. Once there you will see on one side of the central Plaza the “Alcaldes” town leaders in traditional dress including “Cuch Chac Xonobil”.
Photo Via ‘Popular Arts of Mexico’, by Kojin Tonyama
And on another side just below the “Chamula” statue a group of Huaracheros like the ones below selling Huaraches.
Photo By Sean Sprague and Via Mexicolore
You can ask one of these Huaracheros if they will make you a “Cuch Chac Xonobil” for the following week.
The starting price is a steep 500-600 Pesos which I think you can barter down. At the same time I only saw the town leaders wearing ”Cuch Chac Xonobil”, so maybe the high price is justified by their exclusivity.
Nevertheless if lowering the price isn’t possible consider ordering a traditional pair with an all leather sole made with the traditional 7 layers as shown in the photo above, instead of the modern rubber sole version. Make sure the also heel curls upwards.
Vincente Torres Perez and Jacinto Lucas De La Cruz are the last remaining Huaracheros in Atoyac, Jalisco.
The Huaraches in Atoyac have the distinctively pointed soles. Srs. Torres and Lucas make many styles and their most popular are the “Tejido” in the “Finito” (fine weave) version.
The “Tejido Sencillo” Huarache with the “Fuerza” strip of leather on the toe.
And the “Tejido Sencillo” Huarache.
They also refurbish old Huaraches, something I have never seen before. In this case the customer wanted to keep the original leather sole and an new upper was woven into it.
All their Huaraches are made using the same traditional techniques using wooden mesquite lasts.
Many Huaraches are also made to measure.
All the strips of leather are softened in oil and water and left to dry overnight before weaving.
The workshop “Taller” where Don Vincente and Don Lucas work is about as authentic as it gets.
A cool open space with adobe walls and a thatched roof, old wooden tools and vegetable tanned leathers abounding.
They still had a child’s version to the traditional field Huarache the “Alcapoyo”. This Huarache style is one of the oldest and simplest styles. The likely successor of the “Pata de Gallo” and the design bridging that to the complex woven ones we see today.
For orders Don Vincente and Don Lucas can be reached at the following number: 413.841.0215
FIRST ARRIVALS – The úkata “Cien Clavos” by Huaraches Martínez – The Finest Work Huaraches in MexicoPosted: March 11, 2013
BACK IN STOCK!
úkata is proud to offer their first Huaraches for sale.
The “Cien Clavos” Huaraches are made by José Martínez from the small town of Mazamitla, nestled in the pine covered hills of the Sierra Tigre in Southern Jalisco. José Martínez is continuing in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, making the same traditional Huarache designs. A true craftsman, he works alone finishing one, or sometimes 2 pairs per day, while organically tanning his own leathers using mimosa tree bark.
The “Cien Clavos” or “Hundred Nails” design is so called because of the many nails used in the sole. The character of the “Cien Clavos” isn’t trend driven so you’ll never grow tired of this unique Huarache design. The Huarache upper unlike that of other footwear will only get better with age, as the vegetable tanned full grain leather slowly forms to your foot shape and gains a rich golden honey patina over time.
Made in the traditional Huarache way, the ”Cien Clavos” is entirely hand cut without cutting dies. The upper is lined using a pedal powered leather sewing machine, after which it is nailed to a wooden mesquite last where it is hand woven into the insole using only a single strip of leather cut from the center of the hide. A continuous leather strip that is cut and skived freehand and yet with incredible precision from years of practice. The sole is made from a reclaimed truck tire which José Martínez thins down, cuts and washes before nailing to the woven Huarache upper (the nails provide a very strong hold so no glue is used to join the sole). Unlike other Huaraches, the “Cien Clavos” has a closed heel which was originally used for horse riding, and the vamp partially covers the toes which makes the Huaraches an interesting shoe/sandal hybrid.
The “Cien Clavos” Huarache is a signature Martínez design and is made in very limited quantities. You will not find market or souvenir huaraches of a comparable quality and design. Nor will you likely find footwear crafted by the same artisan who also tans their own leather anywhere in the world.
Introducing Señor José Martínez the Master Huarachero and maker of the one of a kind “Cien Clavos” Huaraches.
By purchasing úkata Huaraches, you will be championing talented Huarachero artisans for their incredible handmade footwear, that is also gentle to the environment and deep rooted in Mexican history.
ハンドメイド・シューズ, Leather Sandals, Lädersandaler, الجلود والصنادل, 皮凉鞋, Leren Sandalen, Sandales en Cuir, Ledersandalen, चमड़े के सैंडल, Sandali in Pelle, 革のサンダル, Skinn Sandaler, Sandalias de Cuero, Lädersandaler, Huaraches, Guaraches, Mexican Sandals, Sandali Messicani, 멕시코 샌들, मेक्सिको सैंडल, Sandales Mexicains, Meksikanske Sandaler, Mexicaanse Sandalen, メキシコのサンダル, 墨西哥凉鞋, Мексиканские сандалии, Mexikanska Sandaler, Mexikanischen Sandalen, ワラチ, ワラチ, المكسيكي الصنادل, Woven Sandals, Sandali Intrecciati, 编织凉鞋, Gewebten Sandalen, Geweven Sandalen, Sandales Tissées, 不織布サンダル, 짠 샌들, Vevde Sandaler, тканые сандалии, Sandalias Tejidas, Vävda Sandaler, المنسوجة الصنادل, बुना सैंडल, Handmade Sandals, Sandali fatti a mano, 手工凉鞋, Sandales à la main, हस्तनिर्मित सैंडल, 手作りのサンダル, Håndlagde Sandaler, Sandalias Hechas a Mano, Handgjorda Sandaler, Handgefertigte Sandalen, الصنادل المصنوعة يدويا
Presenting úkata, Huarache Blog’s online store selling rare Huarache designs crafted by the most skilled artisans.
The name úkata means ‘craft’ in Purepecha an ancient language from Central Mexico where Huarache Blog began. Fittingly the indigenous Mexican Purepecha are considered the finest craftspeople in Mexico and are especially well known for their weaving abilities.
úkata hopes to offer readers around the world the opportunity to wear and experience the best Huaraches. Unique footwear where both leather and design are handcrafted, in some special cases by the same artisan. Timeless footwear design that has been made the same way by the Huarachero and his family for 2, 3 and sometimes 4 generations.
úkata aims to support Huaracheros by selling their Huaraches in periods of low sales and in limited quantities, so as not to disrupt any existing trade which they maintain with existing long term retail partners.
Talented Huaracheros who are being sidelined by the rise of branded factory footwear, increasing costs of leather and the declining prices of the local Huarache market. úkata will promote their craftsmanship to a global audience with the long term objective to help elevate the craft of Huaraches by selling only the finest examples. Increasing exposure and demand for high quality Huarache design to encourage highly skilled artisans continue refining their craft and grow their business, hiring employees and passing down their Huarache making knowledge to future generations.
Because sometimes Huaraches can also be for scrolling.
A new Huarache Blog Tumblr page for old and new images of traditional Mexican Footwear, from Huarache Blog and from the web.
Check out http://huaracheblog.tumblr.com/
According to Mexican designer Alejandro Curi every year 25 million vehicle tyres are thrown away in Mexico alone, of which only 5% is recycled. The former FIT design student saw the great potential of re-purposing such a high quality and abundant material and so developed the Kwarachi Machine.
Kwarachi Machine is project where press and sole cutting dies would be placed in marginalized and impoverished areas around Mexico, where many still cannot afford shoes. Such a set up would provide locals with a basic resource that they could use to make their own Huarache Footwear, but which they could also use to make Huaraches to start a small business and generate income.
The idea of providing a common use cutting press and cutting die is interesting because it could provide unskilled craftspeople a tool to create a quality cut sole. This is would be especially valuable today as most Radial tyres have steel wires running through them, making hand cutting with a knife impossible.
For the past 3 years Huarache Blog has been documenting and promoting the craft of Mexican Huarache footwear. This year I will also be developing a specialty e-trade business to offer more immediate support to the craft of Huaraches.
Introducing úkata, an online Huaracheria selling only the best Huaraches in Mexico. Rare designs crafted by the most talented Huaracheros. Timeless Huarache styles that have been made the same way by the artisan and his family for generations. Footwear with a low environmental impact, made with naturally processed and recycled materials.
Click back in February for a more detailed post on úkata and to visit the online store.
Durante los últimos 3 años Blog Huarache ha estado documentando y promoviendo la artesanía de los Huaraches Mexicanos. Este año voy iniciar un negocio de comercio internet para ofrecer un apoyo más inmediato a los Huaracheros y a la artesanía de los Huaraches Mexicanos.
Presentando úkata una Huaracheria en línea de los mejores Huaraches en México. Huaraches excepcionales hechos por los mejores Huaracheros.
Si algúno Huaracheros talentosos quieran vender sus huaraches en el internet, por favor pónganse en contacto con Huarache Blog escribiendo un comentario con sus correo eléctronico en la parte inferior de este artículo (Enter your comment here…).
Don Miguel is a car mechanic and part time Huarachero.
Because making Huaraches is currently a low paying and unstable profession to be in, as with many talented Huarachero’s in Mexico Don Miguel has had to look for work elsewhere.
But in his spare time Don Miguel still continues weaving leather Huaraches as he has been doing for the last 60 years.