Tejiendo Nuestros Pasos is a stunning and truly authentic short documentary that softly reveals the often overlooked humanity that lies behind Huaraches.
It follows 3 Huarachero Artisans through their Huarache making process, as they talk about their life in Tacambaro a small town in the south of Michoacan state.
Daniel Ysi Zarco and his team created and filmed this documentary in reaction to the closing of so many Huarache workshops in Tacambaro during his life, with the loss of local identity and economic self sufficiency caused by the growth of modern long range distribution and mass production.
Just getting the final touches right.
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In this a short video Huarachero Melquiades Robles Jara shows how to make a basic “Petatillo”, or “Zapatilla” Huarache.
Via VULTURE COMPANY
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
A few months ago I started úkata an online Huaracheria Store and began selling the “Cien Clavos” Huarache by Huaraches Martínez.
Probably the Finest Work Huaraches in Mexico you can see better photos and a detailed description if you continue scrolling only a few posts down.
To buy the “Cien Clavos” Huarache by Huaraches Martínez click on the VISIT MY STORE link in the side bar or click HERE.
I was very lucky to see Sr. Martínez weave a pair of “Cien Clavos” Huaraches and was able to photograph the process.
Remember that woven Huaraches are woven from a continuous strip of leather and no glue or knots are used to secure the upper to the sole.
Once the leather strip has been trimmed by hand to be perfectly straight, the process of weaving which takes a couple of hours begins. Below is a short highlight of this highly specialized footwear construction method.
But the Huaraches aren’t finished yet, they still need the buckle and the sole to be attached.