Textiles in México – Oaxaca

Textile art in Mexico is a living activity, which represents both miscegenation, as well as centuries of customs, traditions and cultural cosmogony. Through its wide diversity of iconography, styles, textures and colors creatively applied in Mexican textile crafts, by weavers of the ethnic groups that inhabit every corner of the country.

Mexican textile art has centuries of history and creativity throughout the country. Thanks to this, and to a wide diversity of traditions, customs, crossbreeds and cosmogony, Mexico is recognized as one of the main countries with a beautiful artistic production in the textile world.

Oaxaca

The textile crafts produced in Oaxaca have a wide diversity of styles due to the fact that it has the greatest ethnic wealth in the country. Although the works are made of the same materials (cotton, wool and silk), they are very different in iconography and design. In most communities, textiles are made on a backstrap loom and in some of them the winch is still used for spinning, as well as natural dyes such as cochineal, indigo and purple snail to dye the fabrics. In general, the textiles of this region are beautifully decorated with embroidery that includes various motifs, some of pre-Hispanic origin, nature and animals.

Originally, embroidery used to be done with the tip of a maguey or agave leaf; however, today, the technique has evolved with metal needle. The embroidery represents the dreams and aspirations of numerous Oaxacan indigenous groups, using the nature of the region’s valleys as inspiration.

Mariachi

Mariachi is a traditional music and a fundamental element of the culture of the Mexican people. The traditional mariachis have two or more musicians dressed in regional clothing, inspired by the charro costume, who perform a wide repertoire of songs accompanied by string instruments.

The orchestras that perform “modern” mariachi music have trumpets, violins, vihuela, and guitarron, and are usually made up of four or more musicians.

The lyrics of the songs of the mariachis are about of love for the land, the city where you live, the homeland, religion, nature, Mexican women.In Mexico, the International Mariachi Day is celebrated on January 21.
It is common to request mariachi in all kinds of events;

  • Serenades
  • Weddings
  • Anniversaries
  • Graduations
  • XV years parties
  • Birthday parties

The best places to listen mariachi in Mexico are;
-Plaza Garibaldi in Mexico City
-Plaza de los Mariachis in Guadalajara
-Plaza del Mariachi in Monterrey
-El Parián in Tlaquepaque, Jalisco
-Plaza de las Armas in Querétaro

In Guadalajara, Jalisco, the International Meeting of Mariachi and Charrería is celebrated every year, in this celebration you can appreciate concerts and presentations by mariachi groups, workshops where they help groups outside of Mexico to improve their vestment and above all his style and interpretive technique.

The most famous mariachi singers are; Vicente Fernández, Alejandro Fernández, José Alfredo Jiménez, Juan Gabriel, Antonio Aguilar, Pepe Aguilar, Pedro Infante, Jorge Negrete among many more.

Quality Inspector (soap industry)

Hi, my name is Rodrigo Cuevas, I am 27 years old and I am an Industrial Engineer.

In this occasion I will tell you about my experience as a Quality Inspector in a company that manufactures soaps for body use and clothing. I joined this company with the position of Quality Inspector and I was there for 1 year.

The activities that I carried out were;

• Reception of raw materials (supplies, packaging, aromas, labels)
• Review critical control points
• Reject material when does not meet with the specifications
• Ensure compliance of GMP’s
• Daily reports
• Validate machines parameters
• Validate color, odor, weight and packaging during the process
• Sampling and release of finished product

Soap is a product that is used directly on the skin, so we have to be careful, since if a foreign object falls into the soap it could hurt customers. The necessary precautions must also be taken, since working with chemical products can cause burns to the skin, masks, gloves, safety glasses and boots must be used.

There we work together with the Analysts, we support with them to validate the chemical parameters, consistency, color, odor, pH, saponification, humidity, etc.

We also make edible oil at that company, I’ll talk to you about that next time.

Hammocks

The manufacturing of hammocks is an art that is transmitted from generation to generation and It has been kept for centuries in Mexico.

The hammocks are hand-woven by Mexican artisans, who use cotton, nylon, and crochet thread, they are very comfortable and spacious, as well as not fading from the sun, so they are ideal for outdoors and indoors.

To talk about Mexican hammocks is talk about products of great pragmatic value, capable of offering a great rest, but also of providing style and sophistication to a home. Mexican hammocks and especially Yucatecan hammocks are excellent for their quality and durability.

The perfect accessories for hammocks are;

  • a good blanket
  • a cold drink
  • your favorite book

They can also be made with the most striking colors to the coldest, several or just one colors, they are ideal for a baby or even for a family.

In southern Mexico the weather is warm most of the year, the hammock is used daily instead of the bed, since the fabric lets air through, being the best solution against the heat.

In Mexico, they are made in states such as: Yucatán, Oaxaca, Guerrero and Campeche, and are exported to North, Central and South America, as well to Asia, Europe and Oceania.

Swinging in a hammock, hanging between two trees or in your favorite corner of the house, is the most relaxed way to rest from the hustle and bustle that the “stress” of the day imposes on us.

Quality Technician

Hello, my name is Rodrigo Cuevas, I am 26 years old and I am an Industrial Engineer. In this occasion, I will tell you about my experience as a Quality Technician in an electronics company.

I started as an intern in the quality area and 6 months later they promoted me to the position of Technician. In that position I lasted 2 years and we produced the motherboards to make smart offices.

The activities that I carried out were;

  • Monitor the FPY
  • Validate machines parameters
  • Audits
  • Work together with the other departments
  • Stop production lines when we find a defect
  • Weekly reports
  • Lead purges
  • Create alerts and special instructions
  • Visual aids
  • Train staff
  • Comply with the 5’s

I was in charge of 3 people with the position of Quality Support, with them we made sure that the product we manufactured was within the acceptance criteria according to the electronics manual IPC-610 rev F and the customer’s specifications, settle product quality above all else.

All processes had to be validated by us during the first piece, like cut, paste printing, component placement, welding, through hole, glue placement, retouch, rivet, etc., production did not start until our department was ensured that the first piece and the process are in accordance with the established.

Talavera: Breathtaking Art

You might have come across eye-catching Talavera objects with astonishing designs but do you know exactly what makes them so special? The most obvious answer is the impressive art decorations but the process behind these pieces requires knowledge that has been passed through generations.

Pottery Houses

One of the oldest pottery houses is located in the city of Puebla and was established in 1824. Uriarte Talavera is the largest Talavera manufacturer in Latin America whose art can be found in different regions around the globe. Every piece sold by them has gone through a long process of elaboration and is completely unique.

Uniqueness

What makes this form of art so unique is that the elaboration process is based on knowledge passed from generation to generation recorded in particular communities that consider ‘Talavera’ to be part of their heritage and identity. As a result, this form of art is hard to copy. It requires knowledge and experience that machines or factories lack, ultimately making it a product at a low risk of being displaced.

Elaboration Process

  1. Clay Preparation: A combination of black and white clay is made.
  2. Molding: Potters shape the pieces. They’re careful during the drying process to make sure that it’s even and all pieces are the same.
  3. Baking: After drying the pieces, they are baked at 1,200 degrees Celsius for 10 hours. 
  4. Enamel: Pieces are left to dry for 24 to 48 hours; When they begin to turn white, the enamel is put by hand with a mule hair brush.
  5. Stencil: This is a technique used to decorate surfaces that consists of stamping a pattern using a thin sheet of cardboard, plastic, or metal.
  6. Decoration: The final step can consist of using cobalt blue color to decorate without following patterns and the colored decoration that uses pre-established patterns.

Blown glass

Blown Glass is the artisan process of making beautiful glass objects by creating “bubbles” in molten glass.

The Process

To create these precious colorful objects such as spheres, vases, flagon, glasses, plates, chandeliers, goblets or decorative items, Mexican artisans blow air through a long metal tube to make “bubbles”, and with the help of tools, these pieces acquire a shape. For this beautiful art, artisans need very strong lungs and they’re able to mold the pieces into desired shapes with bounces, combining short and long puffs, with the rotation of the metal tube, and controlling the temperature.

This is truly an art where Mexican artisans are the protagonists throughout the production process, and they ensures to keep high quality and cosmetic details on every piece

Sustainability

The blown glass technique adopted an ecological slant since many artisans and manufacturers use recycled materials, this type of material comes from different container in disuse or discarded, after the bottle ended its useful life, for example; bottles or glassware in general, the material is collected from the places of consumption, crushed and then melted as if it were new material.

Origins

This form of art started in the state of Puebla in the 16th century, but throughout the years, it expanded to various places in Mexico, and now you can find this art in Baja California Sur, Jalisco, Puebla, CDMX, and Monterrey. It is a tradition that is kept alive in Mexican workshops, the pieces come to life thanks to the imagination and the skills of the artisan, and become unique pieces.

My Experience in the Quality Department

My name is Rodrigo Cuevas, I’m 26 years old, live in the state of Guadalajara, Jalisco and I’m an Industrial Engineer that graduated from the University of Guadalajara 5 years ago. During the last few years, I have worked for some companies in the quality department and have had two years of experience in the electronics industry, one year in the food industry (oil and soap), and have been working with a company for two years that provides third-party quality control services. On this occasion, I will share about my work experience in electronics.

Electronics

I started working in an electronics company as an Intern for a period of 6 months, where we manufactured hard disk chassis for a telecommunications firm. In that project, we only handled the final assembly. The project involved:

  • Receiving all the parts that made up the frame (hard drives, cabinets, doors, rails),  
  • In the case of hard drives, we made sure that they were updated.
    • Necessary tests were carried out.
    • Verified that the serial numbers coincided with the established one.
    • Made sure that the parts had no defects such as bumps, scratches, detached labels, broken parts, etc.
    • In the case of finding a defective part, we rejected it and all the pieces had to be inspected.
    • We notified the supplier so that he was aware of the situation and took the necessary action before more similar parts arrived.

Basically I made sure that the product met all the customer’s requirements, both cosmetically and functionally, since we were the last filter in the process. Once we packed it, the pieces went directly to the customer.

The activities that I carried out there were the following: made weekly reports (DPPM, RTV), participated in MRB meetings, assigned a category to the defective material, worked together with all the departments, gemba walks (observe workstations for improvements), lead purges, verified that the supplier’s specifications were the same as requested by the customer.

In my opinion, the electronics industry is challenging, every day you can discover a new problem, and I’ll be sharing some more about my experience soon. 

Talavera

Have you ever seen or come across beautifully designed pottery like the one shown in the image? This decorative style is known as Talavera and can be found in the Mexican state of Puebla. The technique is so unique that in 2019, UNESCO declared the “Manufacturing Process of Talavera Ceramics” as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to Puebla recently and came across local artisans along the roads that are experts in Talavera, who taught me some interesting information about it.

History

According to the locals, Talavera is an ancient technique that was discovered in the year 850 A.C in some Arab countries such as Iraq and from there it spread all the way from India to Spain. It ultimately reached the state of Puebla with the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors who not only used it for pottery because of its high-quality, but also used it for religious ceremonies, funerals and extraordinary sculptures.

Style

The technical definition of the Talavera technique, registered under INDAUTOR, is “Typical pottery from the Puebla area, made with clay and made up of a ceramic body covered with tin glaze, decorated with metallic colors and worked manually on site”. In all honesty, this definition is simple compared to what the entire process truly entails. Artisans go through a number of steps in order to be able to finally decorate the ceramics. This long process is all worth it because at the end, you have a high-quality, beautifully decorated product that won’t break easily and will resist extremely high temperatures. 

The 3 Basic Documents You Need for Importing and Exporting

When searching for the required documentation to import or export you will encounter a bewildering array of documents to be considered. Here we selected the three most important you need to draw your attention towards.

Like it or not, for every single transaction in business a documentation is necessary. When you incorrectly prepare a document, it can create a huge hassle for all parties involved, regardless if it is in selling or purchasing something. When you are shipping a product (importing or exporting), it isn’t different. Goods cannot enter or leave a country unless accompanied by the required documents. And here you might keep your eye widely opened, because if your paperwork is incomplete, you can neither hand over nor collect your cargo. On the basis of the divergence, you may end up paying a penalty, which can cause you a misadventure to your reliability.

Sifting through here and there you may have found some documents which are related to importing and exporting, such as Proforma Invoice, Commercial Invoice, Packing List, Certificate of Origin, Certificate of Manufacture, Dock Receipts etc. Even though all these documents have their importance, there are three of them which are the key for your shipping process, and here we will take you through them.

Basic Documents Required for Exports

1. Bill of Lading

It is by far the most important document in the shipping process for both export and import. Providing evidence or proof of shipment, it indicates the owner of the cargo. Also, the bill of lading is an evidence of Contract of Carriage, receipt of goods and document of title to the goods. It is a legal document that contains all the details pertaining to the cargo being shipped, the destination, the terms of sale, and the details of the recipient. It must be signed by the appointed signatory of the shipping line, the exporter, and the importer. For smooth transportation of goods from one place to another, it is necessary that the exporter obtain a correct and complete bill of lading from the shipping line/forwarder. He must then send the bill of lading to the importer. The importer can collect the cargo only after he presents the bill of lading to the shipping line at the destination port. To learn more, read our well-explained article on the Bill of Lading.

2. Commercial Invoice-cum-Packing List: 

The commercial invoice is the document which provides the details of the sales transaction containing important information regarding the cargo, such as name of exporter/seller and importer/buyer, the value and quantity of the goods sold. Now, the packing list contains the details of the goods that are being shipped. It should mention the correct description of the goods, quantity, weight (gross and net), number and type of packages, and marks and numbers, carrier name, export data, export license number, and letter of credit number. This information is necessary for the Customs to ascertain the value of the goods and to facilitate examination at the time of clearance.

We wrote two separated articles to help you these documents better. Here you can learn more about Commercial Invoice and Packing List.

3. Bill of Export

Also known as “shipping bill of export”, it is a document requirement by the customs authority. It provides the details of any benefit that the shipper has availed in terms of customs duty, export schemes of the government, credit obtained under DEPB. If the goods are re-export of previously imported goods, then such details are also mentioned in the bill.

Basic Documents Required for Imports

Bill of Lading & Commercial Invoice cum Packing List

Not different from the exporting procedure, the bill of lading and commercial invoice-cum-packing list are also required documents for imports. The consignee has to collect these documents from the seller/exporter. Apart from these two documents, importers also need to present a bill of entry to be able to collect their cargo at the destination port.

Bill of Entry

It is a declaration by a consignee/importer or his appointed agent. It provides details of the type of cargo, its value, and quantity. It is prepared in three copies. The Customs inspect and clear the goods based on the information provided in the bill of entry. To ensure that there is no malpractice regarding the value of the goods, the bill of entry is tallied with the sales invoice or insurance policy.