About fifteen miles south of Chama, in the quiet village of Los Ojos, is a century old mercantile building that today is the home of Tierra Wools. A bell at the door announces the arrival of visitors, the vibrant showroom offers beautiful hand-woven creations on every wall, and a group of women sitting around the woodstove share stories. These women are a few of the weavers who carry on the Rio Grande dying and weaving traditions that have been passed down through generations of New Mexicans.
Molly B. Manzanares, a native to the area and a master spinner and weaver, willingly explains the weaving process: the delivery of the organically raised wool; the spinning of the yarn; the natural dyeing performed by an expert dye artisan; the creation of the Rio Grande blankets in the looms. The colors, textures, and even smells of the natural dye are so unique that visitors and students from all over the world travel to Tierra Wools to learn more about these ancient traditions. For those particularly interested, they even offer various classes throughout the year on spinning, dyeing and weaving.
In 2013 Tierra Wools celebrates its thirtieth anniversary—this grassroots project has kept to its mission of buying local wool, training and hiring local people, and carrying on the Rio Grande weaving tradition. Visitors can peruse the wide selection of one-of-a-kind locally made tapestries, wool yarn, and apparel. Mark your calendar for the last Saturday in April for the Tierra Wools Spring Harvest Festival and get a glimpse into the rich and wonderful weaving traditions of Northern New Mexico.
91 Main Street, Los Ojos; 575-588-7231, www.handweavers.com