Juan Sulub, 50 years old and resident of the San José Tzal police station, goes to the neighborhoods of Mérida to weave petatillos with strips of rattan or work plastic for garden chairs.
For 25 years we have been weaving the backs of chairs, armchairs and even seats.
The craftsman lamented that in recent years the work has gone down a lot due to the price of the material as part of everything that has increased in price, among other causes. A kilo of rattan strips costs $2,000.
He also mentioned that woven pieces with rattan strips are a risk people take.
I always tell them that since it can last up to 30 years, it can last 15 days, depending on the furniture and equipment on arrival, he explained.
In his opinion, woven parts should be indoors and wipe them with a damp cloth so that they “drink water” and do not dry out. If the room is outside, the vine dries out and its life is reduced.
Although people are using plastic, he pointed out, the fabric of their chairs will not take them long because the material is very bad, it is not like before.
In addition to weaving with vegetable fiber, she makes plastic covers for garden chairs. She remembered that her brother-in-law had taught her to make fabrics because she was also devoted to it and he taught it to his little brothers.
Juan Sulub said that the first thing to do to weave the petatillo is to make holes in the chair or armchair. Sometimes they are already prepared and it is enough to clean them, to assemble the material.
Fabric prices vary depending on the size of the piece.
There are pieces of furniture that cost up to $600, $700 up to $1,000, $1,500 and the work can take days.
He does not proclaim his work from house to house because “blessed the Lord” many already know him and call him to do the weaving.
His greatest joy, he shared, is to complete his work because he is running out, there are few weavers in the entity.
At the same time, the material is expensive and many people throw the furniture away, they don’t want to repair it because they are told that it is expensive and that the material does not last long. That’s why there is less work now, he lamented.
The old people were very fond of this work, and now the young people, when their relatives die, throw away the furniture.
On the other hand, he underlined, for this job you have to have a lot of patience. There are pieces that are made in about seven hours and on other occasions you have to come back to finish the piece of furniture.
Different materials are used for this job, such as nail clippers, knives, and wood.
Finally, he pointed out that water is also needed to wet the vine bands that are brought from Thailand, according to what they were told where they buy the material.
Juan Sulub’s phone number is 9992-31-59-76.— CLAUDIA SIERRA MEDINA