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The best fibers come from the inner layers of the palm leaf. Before the palm stalks open, they are cut and sliced in strips, two, three or four, depending upon the weaving intended, very fine or not. Fibers are sorted by grade, washed, and dried in the sun and the rays bleach the fibers white for a day or so. Some naturally white are used and others dyed many colors using natural dyes extracted from different plants. There as many as two thousand limestone caves dug out of the ground in the gardens of most houses in this area. Due to extreme heat of the Yucatan Peninsula, the palm fibers would become rigid above ground; the caves provide a damp & humid atmosphere in which the fibers become pliable and more easily woven. A few simple tools are used in the production. Itís not uncommon that entire families spend most of the day in these caves weaving these strong fibers into many types of products including the bags and "Panama" style hats. In the rainy season, weavers may also work outside the cave.

El Dorado Imports has formed a representation relationship Maleni, the granddaughter of the famous master Andres Cruz, who passed away in 2004 and who was famous for the fine weaving of his Panama hats to wholesale the products produced by this amazing family. They weave hats, bags, little birds, lamps and other ornaments that she refers to as "curiosities". You can contact us if you are interested in these bags or any of their other products.

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