How It’s Made: Equipales

Here’s how we make our Mexican equipales the same way it's been done for generations

 

YouTube thumbnail for equipale furniture video by clay imports

Mexican equipale furniture is a unique and beautiful option for anyone looking to add a touch of rustic charm to their home. Handcrafted from natural leather and wood, equipale furniture is both comfortable and durable, making it a popular choice for both indoor and outdoor spaces.

But have you ever wondered how this unique furniture is made? In this blog, we will take a closer look at the process of making equipale furniture and explore the history and cultural significance of this traditional Mexican craft. So if you're interested in learning more about this fascinating and beautiful furniture, keep reading!

Handcrafted equipales were first designed over 500 years ago by skilled Aztec artisans in Central Mexico. Artisan craftsmen used regional and organic materials to craft furniture that provided both comfort and aesthetic pleasure.

Mural “El Mercado de Tlatelolco” of ancient Aztec kingdom by Diego Rivera with equipale chair

The Aztecs inspired a design concept that artisans have been passing down through generations, standing the test of time. Today, authentic equipale furniture is handmade in Zacoalco de Torres, Jalisco. A small town located south of Guadalajara.

Craftsman sowing equipale leather in his workshop clay imports

The process is a skilled art and craft passed down through generations. First artisans harvest wood and branches from the lush, green forests of Zacoalco de Torres. The craftsmen then carefully chop and whittle the wood into flat panel pieces that will form the base of the equipale. The wood panel pieces are woven into a circular base and tied together.

 

A frame made out of curved branches is then sown onto the top of the circular base. A panel of woven leaves is then sowed onto the curved frame and covered with leather to create a base for the seat. A series of Mexican Cedar sticks are nailed onto the outer frame to create the arm and back rests. From there, craftsmen artfully cover the chair in leather, making precise cuts to create a perfect upholstery. The equipal chairs are then painted and ready to be delivered to their new homes. 

The end result is a piece of furniture that is both comfortable and durable, with a unique and rustic appearance that is truly one of a kind.

 

During the 20th century, equipales gained popularity due to the rise of photography of beach resorts in Mexico. However, as demand and production increased, equipale quality suffered. Our New School Equipale collection restores the high quality standard in equipale furniture with a novel focus on sustainability. The leather collection features 100% natural and biodegradable products, such as locally sourced leather, Mexican rosewood, and waxed cotton twine.

Craftsman painting Mexican equipale chair clay imports

Much like our traditional leather equipal pieces, the vegan equipal furniture line is handmade in Jalisco, Mexico, by artisan communities that have been crafting equipal furniture for generations. Our goal was to develop more sustainable and durable equipal furniture that maintained as many traditional qualities as possible. 

When designing this product we wanted to keep it low maintenance. Vegan equipal furniture is easy to care for and stain-resistant while staying true to the minimal design. Vegan Equipal features weather-resistant upholstery and durable deck sealant applied to the rosewood frame.

In conclusion, the process of making equipale furniture is a time-honored tradition that combines the finest materials with skilled craftsmanship to create beautiful and functional pieces that are built to last. Whether you are looking for a comfortable chair, a rustic table, or a unique piece of decor, equipale furniture is the perfect choice.

Equipal chair in front of subway blue tiled fireplace

Shop new additions to our equipale furniture collection like Hatch and Nest. We hope this blog gives you a better appreciation of equipale furniture and its rich Mexican history. If you have any questions feel free to email us at contact@clayimports.com or chat with us here.

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