Cotton has been cultivated in Mexico for thousands of years. However the introduction of the foot pedal loom in the 1500s followed by the flying shuttle loom, made the process of weaving a lot faster. It enabled weavers to make much wider and lighter weight textiles.
Cotton buds are picked and deseeded. The fibres are carded and then spun using a traditional spinning wheel.
Yarn is dyed naturally with many different recipes used to achieve the different colours. Ingredients include flowers, bugs, bark, leaves and stones to name but a few. The recipes are often kept a secret within families. The yarn is then dried in the sun and threaded onto a reel which sits in a shuttle.
It can take three days to thread the thousands of warp threads onto the loom.
Foot pedals are pushed and a hand lever is pulled simultaneously left and right sending the shuttle carrying the weft thread back and forth. It is demanding work and for ease a rhythm needs to be maintained between the pedalling and the pulling.