In the northern highlands of the state of Oaxaca there is an unparalleled textile tradition: products made by hand with silk thread from Cajonos, recognized worldwide for their beauty.
Shawls, scarves, blouses, huipiles and even textile jewelry are produced by families of artisans, who for several generations have found their livelihood by making these high-quality handicrafts.
Seda de Cajonos, everything starts with sericulture
And it is that the creation of the crafts of Cajonos require time and effort, since the process begins with the sericulture or breeding of the silkworm of the genus Bombyx Mori.
It seems that in Oaxaca there are records, before the Conquest, of the existence of the mulberry tree and silkworms. However, it is the Spanish who introduce sericulture in Mexico.
In fact, it was in colonial times that approximately one hundred thousand mulberry trees were planted in both Puebla and Oaxaca to give impetus to said industry.
a long process
Returning to the artisanal process of Cajonos, there are two seasons of the year dedicated to raising the worm: April and August. For a month the worms are fed exclusively with blackberry leaves.
The insects then create cocoons with silk thread, which are boiled in water to form what is known as “greña”.
Then the spinning process begins with a winch to form the balls of thread and then go to the warper, where the threads are prepared for the traditional waist loom.
Finally, the dyeing is done with natural dyes: pericón, brazilwood, indigo and cochineal scarlet are the bases to obtain incomparable shades.
As we can see, textile production in this area requires weeks of careful manual processes, which must be preserved as part of our cultural heritage.
Cajonos silk, protected worldwide
Therefore, we celebrate that this year, the World Intellectual Property Organization granted the Declaration of Geographical Indication of the San Pedro Cajonos Silkworm to five Oaxacan municipalities.
This means that only those textiles produced in those locations, they will be able to market products with the distinctive seal of Cajonos silk.
This declaration endorses and protects not only these textiles, but also the preservation and breeding work carried out by Oaxacan artisans.
Finally, this seal of quality promotes the marketing of its products and offers guarantees to buyers, who obtain a quality product.