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Escalante Rugs at Turquoise Tortoise Gallery, Sedona, Arizona.

Zapotec Rugs Showcased at Turquoise Tortoise Gallery in Sedona Arizona

In Sedona, Arizona Turquoise Tortoise Gallery opens “Weaving in the Clouds” on 1st Friday, March 4, from 5-8 pm. The new exhibition showcases the gallery’s newly expanded collection of hand-woven Zapotec rugs and pillow covers from Escalante Rugs.

Escalante Rugs - Blue Tan Group at Turquoise Tortoise Gallery, Sedona, Arizona.With each hand-woven rug identified with the pattern name and the weaver’s name, Turquoise Tortoise Gallery showcases many of the top traditional weavers in Oaxaca today. Escalante Rugs has worked hard for over two decades to foster close relationships – and friendships – with these Native American weavers and has worked alongside them to continually adapt color palettes and design combinations to best meet the ever changing world of interior design and decorating.

The Zapotec Indians of the Oaxaca Valley, in the foothills of the Sierra Madres of Mexico, are known locally as the “people of the clouds.” Their weaving traditions are intimately tied to the family unit: The women prepare dyes, card wool from the sheep they raise and dye the wool; the men traditionally design and weave. Children spin yarn and by their teenaged years are learning the craft in earnest.

The Zapotec rugs are “Flat Weave,” woven on an upright shuttle loom. It takes an average of about a week, working 6 to 8 hour days, to weave a 2.5ft x 5ft rug; an 8ft x 10ft rug can take 2 to 3 months to weave. Preparation for the yarns can take up to 7 days while preparation of the loom can take 2 to 3 days.

The Zapotecs are weaving for Escalante Rugs with not only churro wool but also 100% Lincoln wool as well as a unique mohair blended wool that Escalante Rugs has worked with the Zapotec to create; it makes for extra long-lasting, heirloom quality rugs (mohair being the second strongest natural fiber, behind the mane of a horse). Because of the high lanolin content of the wool, these rugs naturally repel stains and moisture.

Many of the geometric designs used by the Zapotec are found on the Mayan Ruins throughout Southern Mexico and Central America. Other designs include Southwestern and Western motifs, including traditional patterns woven by North American Indians such as the Navajo and Hopi.

Stop in the gallery to admire all the rugs, from small throw rugs and runners to large area rugs. “Weaving in the Clouds” at Turquoise Tortoise Gallery runs through March 13.

See Facebook page at: www.Facebook.com/TurquoiseTortoiseGallerySedona; “Like” and definitely share your comments. Turquoise Tortoise Gallery, 928/282-2262, www.TurquoiseTortoiseGallery.com, located at Hozho, 431 S.R. 179, Sedona, AZ. Open daily: 10-6 Mon-Sat; 11-5 Sun.

Photos

1. Top photo: Ombre fades and colors of sophisticated neutrals mark this new collection of finely woven Zapotec rugs and pillow covers from Escalante Rugs. Available from small to large in an array of palettes and patterns. Available at Turquoise Tortoise Gallery in Sedona, AZ.  2. Blue/tan group - vertical photo:  High desert colors of rocks, trees and clear blue skies mark this new collection of finely woven Zapotec rugs and pillow covers from Escalante Rugs. Available from small to large in an array of palettes and patterns. Available at Turquoise Tortoise Gallery in Sedona, AZ.

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