icon-account icon-glass

dutzi black - black is not always black

Posted by Ariane Dutzi on

Every dutzi bag has a story behind it. Each dutzi bag is as unique as you are!
I was always fascinated by the expression "being the black sheep of the family". I assure you, I am pretty different, but I was never the black sheep. But the expression stuck with me and I never understood clearly, why it was so negative. Why do we have the idea to be different is or can be negative. Anyway….
During my travels I came along a heavy black skirt made out of black wool. I was fascinated about it and start digging to get more information. And this was the beginning of dutzi black! Hope you enjoy the story behind the dutzi black collection as much as I do. Thanks for listening!
designer and owner of dutzi design


Sacred sheep and woolen clothes made for dutzi black - a bag with a soul

First of all, sheep are part of the culture of the Tzotzils (indigenous people of Chiapas, a State in Mexico in the Mexican highlands); since they are sacred animals protected by the local religion, it is forbidden to hurt, to kill or to eat them. Secondly, they are also the exclusive responsibility of women, who take every decision over any issue related to these animals and also keep and manage any money derived from their sheep. The Tzotzils believe that every person has an ‘animal companion' who suffers the same fate as his or her soul mate. When a person is ill or dies so does his or her animal companion. Even when most animal companions are wild animals, it is recognised that sheep can be the secondary soul mates of shamans and healers, and this is the reason for not hurting or killing them. However, it is only sheep that are sacred, and cows, horses or pigs are just domestic animals for the Tzotzils, who raise them, kill them, eat them, or sell them as needed.

The importance of sheep is related to the traditional clothing of the Tzotzils. Clothes for ceremonial or daily use are made out of wool and any visitor to the villages or to the local markets will find men in their heavy black coats or their sleeveless white jackets. Women wear their black woollen skirts and their richly embroidered brown blouses, and they cover themselves with black shawls. Children's clothes, blankets and bedspreads are woven to blend fleeces of different colours, to create an infinite number of grey and brown shades. These woollen clothes are quite heavy and a hairy finish is highly regarded; they are also waterproof and last a very long time.


The traditional textile process is quite complex, and includes spinning the wool with a wooden spindle into threads of specific characteristics of tension and thickness to form both the weft and the warp for the loom. Also, the time-consuming process of weaving the threads with a back-strap loom is accompanied by a series of additional steps for washing, carding and felting.

Sheep husbandry among the Tzotzils also has an important economic role. Adequate amounts of high quality fleeces represent the possibility to weave clothes for every member of the family. Fleeces of such quality have a high value at the local markets, which makes them a valuable asset in case of urgent cash needs. Additional income is generated through the sales of surplus rams, old sheep, woollen garments and handicrafts, and surplus manure not used on the family land for crops.

For the women in the mountains of Chiapas, the best fleeces have long and loose staples formed by a considerable amount of long-coarse fibres with little or no kemp. Fleece colour is also very important, in order for the weavers to make all the variety of garments required by their families. All black, all white, or cinnamon brown fleeces reach the highest prices, because they are woven directly into clothes without requiring a complex dyeing process. There are 100% natural! NO dye! 

Credit to the shepherdess

There are no shepherds. Only Shepaherdess. In other words, this is a business completely controlled by women ONLY. This is very important to me, because one of the strong points of dutzi design is supporting women all over the world. 

By contrast, those humble shepherdesses that were considered ‘backward' for opposing progress and technology have not only been able to preserve their local sheep breeds , to improve their productive traits and to sustain their own livelihoods. Today, at least 150,000 wool sheep are kept in small flocks (of about 10 sheep) all over the mountains of Chiapas. The traditional sheep management system designed by the Tzotzil shepherdesses is efficient in terms of lamb and fleece production, it requires very little or no external inputs, and it keeps inbreeding at negligible levels.

Tzotzil shepherdesses must be credited for maintaining their sheep breeds that would be extinct by now if they had not systematically opposed official interventions aimed to dilute the genes of their ‘true sheep'. These local wool sheep of Chiapas should not only be seen as a pool of valuable genes, nor just the subject of genetic improvement research. On a wider perspective, Chiapas sheep represent the ability of human groups to design their own survival strategies and continue with their ancient culture. dutzi design is very proud to work with these women and this way be able to combine the ancient techniques with a modern design for the bags. 

For further inquiries email us at: info@dutzidesign.com

Older Post Newer Post


  • 500mg[/url] Buy Amoxicillin qos.ipnh.dutzishop.com.lbg.xs http://mewkid.net/when-is-xuxlya/
    izegocif on

  • 500 Mg Dosage[/url] Amoxicillin Online nxo.gbit.dutzishop.com.fak.yo http://mewkid.net/when-is-xuxlya/
    peguhjakpaq on

  • Amoxil Online[/url] Amoxicillin 500mg tlw.asyf.dutzishop.com.cxr.bf http://mewkid.net/when-is-xuxlya/
    eqiwageseraec on

  • I am no longer certain the place you are getting your info, however great topic. I needs to spend some time studying more or working out more. Thank you for fantastic info I used to be looking for this information for my mission.
    [url=http://www.jordan7210.us.com]air jordan 11[/url]

    air jordan 11 on

  • andy:好極了 就送給你吧 請你把朋友的地址電郵給我 leonablogspotATgmailDOTcom希望你會喜歡 孖瑩 你好 咦 你來了不短時間了 謝謝你的留言 St. Stephhen’s…um…這學校很全面 但和那些每每出X優狀元的名校來說 大概不是最好的 單指學業成績方面 但會考成績好 這不是最重要的吧 我想 所以我還是蠻喜歡這學校的 Karmapolice:謝謝捧場 已張貼了該文 希望不會令你失望 大前指的 不是深圳與香港 是澳門與香港 他說 十年前香港相對深圳intelligent 可以上去當當地人的經理 但如今 深圳已非常intelligent了 香港與之結合 反而有機會被取代 今天出版的雜誌iMoney有大前研一的專訪 整整六大頁 很好看 比我寫的全面多了 daeinl:是嗎 你在anobii也有shelf嗎 馬上去看看 ball:咦 關於台灣 關於南韓 你知的比我多呢 失敬失敬 samsung的確是韓國的巨人 我也看過有關這間公司的故事 有意思 大前的意見往往比較前瞻 也許這是他對未來南韓之路的推斷 lasallejai:Your alma mater…obviously it’s La salle College, isn’t?:)Hey, I don’t know you are still reading my blog…remember our previous discussion about Canada vs Hong Kong?My friend Simon Lee has left a message to you:小汀 啊 那本不錯 不過初次看 可能有小小悶 你可以先看 工作雞湯I II 會很有共鳴的 而我則尤愛 想做的事就去做 和 OFF學 這兩本書很適合我這種又懶又衝動的人啊

    Phindiswa on

Leave a comment