The Ayate- a handwoven agave washcloth.
The process to make these takes weeks. The fibers come from the palenques (leaves) of the agave plant, which are soaked for a few days, stripped of the fibers, pounded, and spun into a long thread like material that is then hand woven into a square washcloth.
Plastic is replacing these traditional cloths and there are not as many individuals and communities who are making them anymore.
Machine washable, mold resistant, softens after first use, and lasts a long time! Large woven ayates were made to carry loads and bundles of crops in the fields due to the strength of fiber. Ayates for farmwork have been used before Spain conquered Mexico.
Photos and description by Tienda Salsita.