Vegetable Fibers of the State of Mexico

POPOTILLO

In their cleaning habits the ancient Mexica already used the fibers of the popotillo in the brooms, which were made from the technique that is still used today known as popotillo, which was also used to decorate temples, houses, schools.

The popotillo or zacate comes from the plant known as "cambray", grass of long and thick rods that grows in the mountains of the valleys of Mexico, and abounds in areas such as Popocatépetl, the Nevado de Toluca, Morelos, Hidalgo and Michoacán . In popular tradition it is used to make brooms, although with modernity in urban areas it has been replaced by plastic.

The popotillo can not be used when it is green so it is collected in the months of December to March. Once collected, it is dyed with natural dyes and then dried.

The popotillo paintings are made on a rigid base on which drawings are drawn, they are commonly allegories of local landscapes or popular tasks, this rigid base is impregnated with a thin and uniform glue layer made with beeswax that is left boil, and to which pitch is added, resulting in a very soft paste.

This glue is used to fix the fine sequences of delicate popotitos previously stained with natural anilines shading the background pattern. A layer of sealant is applied with a light brush on top to make sure that colors will not fade and dust will not adhere to the work.