Oaxaca Weaving Family, "Don Chepe" Leyva Garcia,
Artisan Barrio, Xochimilco, Oaxaca Arte Textil, "Don Chepe"
The fourth generation of weavers creates Colchas, Manteles, Cortinas, and Tela para Tapiceria in their shop at number 206 Dr Gilberto Bolanos Cacho in Oaxaca City's Neighborhood of Xochimilco , just 14 blocks north of the Zocalo.
The Leyva Flores family members have been weavers for 150 years, starting with the grandfather of the current patriarch, Don Chepe. The Great Grandfather specialized in weaving cotton scarfs.
The width of the scarf would have been determined by the loom size. The generations after the founder changed with the times and built larger looms to create bedspreads, (Colchas), and table cloths (Manteles).
As times changed so did the designs and styles produced by the Leyva family. They built ever larger looms to create larger bed spreads and larger table cloths. The current generation of weavers in the Leyva Flores family would make bed spreads to order and combine two for a king size bed by sewing them together.
Twelve years ago, the four brothers currently working with their father, 80 year old Jose Leyva Garcia, known as "Don Chepe", built, with the help of brothers and uncles, their largest loom to date, capable of producing the largest king size bed covers. (Colchas).
Arte Textil "Don Chepe" makes (Colchas), Bedspreads, (Manteles), Tablecloths, (Cortinas), Curtains, and (Tela para tapiceria), upholstery fabric. They also make place mats hand towels and a host of customer- designed products made to order.
Other specialty items that are in their inventory or can be made to order are curtains, (cortinas) and cloth for upholstery use (tela para tapiceria).
Four sons currently work with Jose Leyva Garcia or "Don Chepe". they are Mario, Francisco (Pancho), Javier, and Gustavo.
Gustavo handles the retail side of the business when he is not operating a loom.
If you would like an item made to your order, call or visit Gustavo at the start of your vacation and he will help you choose color and design. Within a week the item will be ready for you to pick up.
When you visit you can watch the weaving process and get some hands on weaving experience at one of the six large looms where the family works. Gustavo will demonstrate and then let you operate the loom. This can be quite a memorable experience when they are making a piece for you and you actually take part in the process.
The family sells their woven products from a retail space at the back of the shop. They depend on word of mouth to bring them customers and offer a friendly greeting and relaxed atmosphere for visitors that want to watch tho process or take photographs. Satisfied customers send their friends to Arte Textil "Don Chepe" and the family hasn't needed to advertise or sell through additional retail outlets.
Arte Textil "Don Chepe" is located just beside the old aqueduct in the Barrio Xochimilco. The area has recently undergone extensive street renovation work making it one of the more pleasant and photogenic areas of Oaxaca. The cobble streets and small avenues have an old word flavor that make it a pleasant place to visit.
How to Reach Arte Textil "Don Chepe"
By taxi: Ask the driver to take you to Xochimilco's church, Santo Tomas. At the northeast corner of the church, walk east down a slight hill to number 206, Dr G. Balanos Cacho (street) at the foot of the street find Arte Textil on your right.
From the northwest corner of the Zocalo walk north on Garcia Vigil (Street) continue for eight blocks and you will enter a pleasant cobble street beside the aqueduct. Cross the divided road, Ninos Heroes, walk two blocks more beside the aqueduct and take the stairway to your left. It will be the second of two stairways that cross the aqueduct. Just a short way up the hill on your left find number 206, Textil "Don Chepe" (14 total blocks)
To Contact Arte Textil "Don Chepe"
Tel Fax: 951-51-517-95
Gustavo S. Leyva Flores. one of four brothers working in the Art Textil "Don Chepe" shop demonstrates the workings of the large loom
Brother Francisco (Pancho) Leyva Flores operates one of six looms making cotton table cloths
Gustavo Leyva Flores demonstrates the various colors that create the patterns
"Don Chepe" the patriarch of the current generation of Art Textil weavers creates the colored weft threads that are inserted in the shuttle to make the designs.
Don Jose Leyva Garcia at 80 years old still heads the weaving family and works in the shop at Art Textil in Xochimilco, Oaxaca
Gustavo demonstrates the colorful cotton products in the retail shop at Art Textil "Don Chepe"
Don Jose Leyva Garcia
The Oaxaca Weaving Family, Don Chepe Leyva Garcia in the Artisan Barrio of Xochimilco, Oaxaca run Arte Textil,Don Chepe. The Artisan family of weavers in the Barrio of Xochimilco specializes in cotton weaving and make bedspreads and tablecloths to order.