Even though our spinning experiment in Gualupita didn't work as well as we'd hoped, the tip we got that day about the weekly meeting of the town's craftsmen proved very valuable. On a monday evening we went back to Gualupita, expecting to find maybe a few people at the crafts center, but when we got there the place was bustling with activity. Many women and a few men were there with their work (mostly knitting) and were discussing all the pieces that would be sold in the shop.
We quickly introduced ourselves to the lady who seemed to be in charge and she immediately called everyone to attention. The people fell silent as Raquel explained who we were, and why we were there. While she did the talking I passed around a few bobbins of plastic yarn and the textile I had woven with them. I've seen the astonished reactions of people when they realize the material they are looking at is actually made of plastic bags many times before, but here it was extra special because these were not any people, they were very experienced craftsmen and they were impressed.
One man was immediately pointed out by te crowd, he was the one we should talk to. His name was Tito and he was one of the few remaining weavers in the town, but also the most inventive one. We had a really nice conversation with him and he was eager to learn more about the material. He invited us to come by and try out some of his self-built machines, so a couple of days later we returned to Gualupita with a good supply of cut plastic bags to see señor Tito at work.
We were welcomed by him and his wife into their home, which was also the workshop. A large weaving loom took up a third of the living room and a slightly smaller one occupied most of the bedroom. Besides that he had a knitting machine and different self-made machines for spinning yarns and winding bobbins standing around the place. We tried the different machines for spinning and this time with much better results than with the large wool twining machine we tried before. One of the machines needed a little bit of tweaking to work optimally with plastic, but señor Tito was happy to work on some adjustments.
When he's made the modifications, he is going to try to spin a larger volume of yarns for us and test them out on one of his weaving looms, so we'll go back for that soon. It was great to meet and work with such a fantastic weaver/inventor especially because he seemed just as exited about this new experiment as we are.