Graziano & Gutierrez: a Journey from Fabrics Hand-Loomed in Mexico to Garments Hand-Made in Oregon

 Antonio & Doñaa Antonia


Graziano & Gutierrez is a Mexican-American work-wear & apparel brand working in collaboration with artisan textile makers in Oaxaca & Chiapas, Mexico.

Our goal is focused on repurposing hand-woven Mexican textiles commonly used for upholstery or tablecloths to give them a new, unique, and personal use. We aim to create pieces that preserve and share the incredibly rich heritage of Mexico, while also providing a platform for the artisans’ work to shine.

Since the beginning, we felt Graziano & Gutierrez was about three core things:

  • Transparency/education
  • Environmental responsibility
  • Providing a platform for Mexican artisan work.

It’s very important to us to be as transparent as possible about our practices, from where the fabrics are coming from, who is making them and who is sewing all the garments.

All of our pieces are patterned, cut and sewn to order by Alejandro Gutierrez in our Portland, Oregon studio. This is one of the reasons our releases are in small batches, it allows us to maintain quality and provide custom tailoring for customers. Every piece comes with a label detailing garment origins; fabric origins, production as well as artisan and collaborative partners in order to educate the wearer on what all went into making each piece.
 

 
patterns in studio
Alejandro cutting
Alejandro sewing

 

We are always looking to have the most earth and human-friendly solutions to every aspect of our products. All of our garments are hand-made from beginning to end. The fabrics are handwoven on pedal looms by artisan communities in Oaxaca and Chiapas, Mexico and then each garment is hand-cut and sewn in our studio. We utilize only environmentally and socially sustainable fabrications, which include both handwoven cotton fabrics from the artisans we work with, but also compostable natural fiber textiles like organic cotton and hemp.

We are currently partnered with two artisan communities in Mexico from Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca and San Andres Larrainzar, Chiapas.

Our Oaxacan fabrics come from Teotitlan del Valle, a small village outside Oaxaca established in 1465; it was one of the first villages founded by the Zapotec people. The name Teotitlan comes from Nahuatl and means “land of the gods,” it’s Zapotec name is Xaguixe. This village is known for its hand-woven textiles, especially rugs, which are woven on pedal looms, from wool obtained from local sheep and dyed mainly with local, natural dyes.

In Teotitlan del Valle we work closely with Family Bautista Martinez who have specialized in textile making for over 50 years. We met the owner Antonia and her son Antonio almost five years ago while on a research trip, they have been running their own family business together and most of the weavers/workers are family members with the exception of one or two locals.

cotton
Antonia
loomed fabrics

 

Doña Antonia Martinez was born in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca and started the business with her husband Antonio over 50 years ago. She used to be one of the main fabric weavers, but today she’s focused on managing their store and selling their fabrics, home-wear and accessories. Doña's son, Antonio, oversees the fabric production on a daily basis.

While working with wool is one of Family Bautista Martinez's specialties, they also work with organic cotton to make lighter fabrics that can be used as comforters, tablecloths or in our case clothes. They acquire their cotton regionally and proceed to make their fabrics on their 40-year-old pedal looms in their local work-shop.

looming
loom

 

In Chiapas, Mexico, we work with a local family business owned by Jorge Giacobone, who started working with indigenous communities in 1980 in order to preserve traditional techniques, such as weaving on pedal and back-strap looms.

Their fabrics are made on pedal looms by artisans in the communities of San Andres Larrainzar, Chamula, Oxchuc y Tenejapa in the state of Chiapas. Together with local communities, they’ve adapted centuries-old weaving techniques in order to create high-quality hand-woven textiles. The hieroglyphics featured on their fabrics are based on traditional Mayan motifs found in ancient sculptures within the region.

 

assembling patterns
studio
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