Hacienda Montaecristo was born in Mexico, in the Yucatan Peninsula,
in 2009 from two old friends: Francesca Bonato and Jacopo Janniello Ravagnan.
Their passion for flea markets, souks, collection, antiquities brought them all around the world;
following the wind, meeting cultures, listening to people stories, people lives. They were
exploring the globe following only one rule: getting lost. Traveling without a map,
without a schedule, just listening to their traveler’s instinct. The same instinct that made them find
themselves and their real passions, allowing them to get lost again and again.
Francesca left her native Milan during her University years and she found in Mexico the
inspiration to begin the most amazing journey she could think of, soon joined by Jacopo, who was
traveling in a long journey in South America at the time. They have been living in Yucatan since 2007 and were
inspired in the creation of Hacienda Montaecristo by the tradition and history of one of the most
fascinating country of the world: Mexico.
Sometime later, travelling around the Yucatan Peninsula on an old Ford from the 70’s they were caught in a storm and sought shelter in an abandoned building nearby which, they discovered later, used to be a big factory of fabrics and textiles in the late 60’s. That was a signal, they got lost in Mexico and Mexico gave them one more tip. To embody the Mexican spirit Hacienda Montaecristo needed to be deeply rooted in the social fabric of Yucatan, just as the old Haciendas were, a place were people would gather, to work together to a common project, in a collaborative and not corporative way, a place where the young could learn from the skills of the more experienced artisans, where the craftsmanship could regain its leading role in the daily life of local communities.
THE MANUFACTURING OF MATERIALS
All the HMC Rebozos are products of Mexico. To weave the main piece of a Rebozo the artisan needs at least three weeks on the wooden looms, while the fringe will take from ten to thirty days according to the style and complexity of the design. HMC have been rebuilding antique wooden looms thanks to the local artisans knowledge and their ability to create unique masterpieces with the traditional techniques. HMC gathered the best artisans from all around the Peninsula, to keep alive their ancient methods of weaving silk, rayon or cotton, because every step of the production is essential: how to thread bundles, how to dye them, untie them and finally weave to produce patterns of the 100% handmade HMC Rebozos, without recurring to any mass production system.
The leather used in HMC bags and accessories is 100% local and the HMC master craftsmen follow every single proceeding from the first colouring to the last treatments, to ensure and guarantee the production of an excellent, soft and durable leather.
The women that were embroidering with Hacienda Montaecristo at the very beginning are still part of the community and their Rebozo scarves, the most important piece in their wardrobe, were the main inspiration for the HMC collections.
For three centuries, Mexican women have considered the Rebozo an essential piece for their look that accompanies them in the everyday life: protecting them from the sun and from the cold, used for mourning or for carrying goods and children. The Rebozo is the perfect union between practical and beautiful. The value and quality of a Rebozo depends from the process used in weaving, the fiber (silk, cotton, linen or rayon) and above all from the fringe: more complex and decorated the fringe is, more expensive and precious is the Rebozo.
THE ART OF MAKING REBOZO
Hacienda Montaecristo has been collecting antique handmade Rebozos for the last eight years from all around Mexico; we have more than 300 old pieces from the beginning of the 1900 to the 70’s.
We rebuilt the antique wooden looms thanks to our artisans who transmitted to us their knowledge. We gathered the best artisans from all around the peninsula to keep alive the ancient tradition of weaving silk, the rayon or the cotton. We now use the same old techniques that were used. All of our products are 100% handmade; no machines, no mass production. We produce the fabric as well as the leather and the straw. We follow every single procedure from the first coloring to the ultimate treatments. Every component is local and we do not import anything; all is Mexican. Made in Mexico.
FALL WINTER 2014
Today the HMC family counts more than 30 people: tanners, weavers, artisans and embroideresses. In the years they turned into a real community, with the common goal of preserving the ancient Mexican techniques in the production of textiles and leather goods, like in past, in the real Haciendas time, when hundreds of people used to live together in those majestic building and premises, with family and friends, to improve their life conditions away from the fields, and to carry on the local craftsmanship. Because the real power of HMC is the passion and the willingness of the people working together for a common project: to not let their tradition be swept away from a mass market world. A project that put down its roots in one of the most creative and prolific culture in history, the Mayans, and with strong roots, every plant grows strong and solid.