Founded in 1537, the town of Etzatlan in the state of Jalisco began to gain international prominence thanks to the hands of hundreds of women who managed to register the Guinness record for the largest crochet craft pavilion in the world in 2019. This achievement would not have been possible without Lorena Ron and his mother, Concepción Sordia, 90, who leads the project Sky Fabric. The Etzatlan Weavers Association is a non-profit organization, made up mainly of women from this community dedicated to weaving.
According to Lorena, her mother, Concepción, used to knit scarves for the whole family. However, the point came that they accumulated so many coins that it was impossible to use them all. It was then that the idea came to him to imagine new models for his mother in order to keep her busy developing her talent with her hands and crochet.
At first, the activity started as a family pastime where they would gather in the center of the municipality of Etzatlán, where every afternoon Mrs. Lorena and her mother would weave watching people go by in the center of the city. . Over time, Ms. Lorena’s friends and her mother gradually came together to form the women’s association that represents the project today.
Etzatlan is a municipality in the Valles region of the state of Jalisco that currently has more than 20,000 inhabitants, 51.1% of whom are women who do domestic work, according to Data Mexico.
A veterinarian by profession, Lorena Ron says weaving has served as therapy to channel feelings of sadness like the one generated by the loss of her ex-husband, a life experience that inspired her to invite more women to speak out. through weaving. “I always tell them, ‘start knitting, you’re going to feel great, think whatever you do, your pain is going to go there, you’re going to throw it away’, and it works, they get a lot better when they wear to weave”.
Mrs. María del Carmen Gómez, from Etzatlán, who is part of ‘Cielo Tejido’, assures that she joined the group after Lorena invited her and remembers the first years she shared with her companions: “We met in the portal of the square, they put tables, chairs there and we all knitted. Very happy that we passed it, with a coffee, with a tea, with a small drink and there we knitted”.
The most important value of the project is teamwork and it is that each story coincides at some point, the coexistence between them, as stated by María del Carmen who learned to weave since she was a child “I like to come and spend time because that way you’re not locked up at home, that’s why you spend your time weaving, talking with my colleagues, we live together”.
Miranda, 8, is one of the youngest members of the association, who decided to learn a few months ago and it is precisely this activity with which she channels her emotions: “I am just learning. My mother told me that I could knit and do a lot of things. When I’m angry, I distract myself by knitting.
In the beginning ‘Heaven Knitting‘ It was a small group of 4 to 5 women who met to weave in the center of Etzatlán, but over time the taste for this activity has spread so much that today there are about 140 women of all ages, a situation that has generated great achievements and satisfactions such as the Guinness World Record to which they were awarded in 2019 for weaving the largest handmade crochet pavilion in the world, made with more than 2,800 square meters of fabric which was exhibited in the main streets of the municipality of Jalisco.
The diversity of colors and the large-scale dimensions have made their technique a cultural reference in the region, which found an echo on social networks from where the visual artist Betsabeé Romero met them and decided to seek them out for invite them to collaborate in the Pavilion project. representing Mexico in Expo 2020 Dubaiwhich will take place from October 1 to March 31, 2022.
The piece that adorns the facade of the mexican pavilion in the most important city of the United Arab Emirates is composed of 3,100 pieces (equivalent to 1,033 meters) which have been made with commercial type raffia in 12 different colors and which together form a “woven sky”, a work which gives its name to the association of women weavers of Etzatlán.
“They can achieve anything they set out to do, I always tell them that together we are stronger,” says Lorena, 60, who is already in the city of Dubai, from where she will represent all her colleagues and be in charge of supervising the editing work of the work which took them at least two months to create.
Lorena Ron and her mother would never have imagined that one of their passions would bring them closer to so many women who today have become worthy representatives of our country around the world, extolling the colors, folklore and culture of ‘a community that seeks to unite through knitting and crocheting.