Cristian Antonio Rodríguez Cervantes, Cajititlan, Jalisco
In the 1970s, José Rodríguez Ramos was introduced to a North American who suggested José might learn how to work with horse hair to make items that would be marketable in Mexico, the U.S. and abroad. José’s wife, Consuelo, was the first to learn the procedure. She quickly learned the extensive process from cleaning the horse hair to making the final product.
The horse hair is purchased from slaughterhouses, and the first step is a lengthy cleaning process. The hair is washed and disinfected taking one complete day. All extraneous oils, dust, etc. must be thoroughly cleaned away. Then, the hair is set in the sun to dry. Currently, cleaning is Jose’s job. If colors are desired, aniline powdered dyes are used.
El Crin es Arte has always been a family business and José’s son, Cristian Antonio Rodríguez Cervantes, works alongside his parents. In 2017, Cristian won the Third Annual Craftsmanship Award of Jalisco (the highest award given) with a saddle made of horsehair. He used braided horsehair and it took just over three months to complete.
Once the horse hair has been washed, Consuelo carefully places the strands of hair together and the entire mane is bound with string. She then twists 3 or 4 hairs at a time in a process called torcido. Twelve torcidos will be placed together — this is called a trenza. The trenzas are put side-by-side and with a thread and needle sewn together to form the desired width/girth for the object they are making. Beeswax is run down the thread using the fingers to make it easier to push the needle through the trenzas.
Once the desired width is achieved, the entire piece is ironed to make it flat and smooth. Trenzas of various sizes are added, sewn together over and over until the piece they are making begins to take shape. There are different techniques to make the ends or closures of bracelets. Every piece is handsomely and expertly made and the detail is extensive. The family produces belts, purses, keyrings, hat bands, bracelets, among other products.
El Crin es Arte
Cristian Antonio Rodríguez Cervantes
Consuelo Cervantes Castillo
Guadalupe Victoria #47
331 611 9341 Whatsapp
Facebook: Artesanias Jose Rodriguez