THE HISTORY AND MAKING OF PAPEL PICADO

Papel Picado Blog

Origin and History of Papel Picado

The origins of papel picado can be traced back to Chinese culture (the paper known as China paper), and it has been used in Europe since the 16th century. During the 19th century, Mexican peons were forced to shop at haciendas for their goods and among them was Chinese paper. Aside from the tasks inherent in the field, Huixcolotla's residents worked this paper until they produced their own, a true Puebla craft known today as Papel Picado

The tradition has been passed down from generation to generation, preventing its disappearance. The artisans began to sell their work in neighboring towns and among the hacienda workers. Around 1930, it spread to other places such as Puebla and Tlaxcala. In the 1960s, they began spreading it in Mexico City, making it a recognized craft not only nationally, but also internationally (exhibitions have been held in the U.S. and Europe as well). The artisans diffuse their products through craft shops, popular festivals, and restaurant decorations. Today, artisans chip logos for large companies; papel picado has become a new form of communication.

 The making of papel picado

How is papel picado made and what is the traditional procedure used by artisans?

The original drawing is essential as a guide for the sheets of Chinese paper once it is placed on them. Using chisels, hammers, lead iron, and, most importantly, skill and ingenuity, bundles of 50 sheets of paper are nailed together and superimposed. In accordance with the needs of the artisans, they have given names to their chisels (of different shapes and sizes); thus, the curved ones are called half-rounds, uñetas, mouthpieces or squares. The lead plate protects the wire of the chisels from mistreatment. Using direct manual tapping on the package of sheets to be cut, true works of art appear on the perforated paper. In order to succeed in this job, you must be patient, resourceful, dedicated and have a lot of faith in it. In the work, this attention is evident. It is evident from touching the paper that the artist has taken a great deal of care and sensitivity. The papel picado is fragile, delicate and light.

Papel Picado Handbags

Introducing our newest collection of Carlota bags!

Papel Picado

Launching Tuesday 11/29/22 at 10AM CST

Shop now 

These handbags are part of a limited edition, handmade by local artisans of the state of Jalisco, and decorated with traditional Mexican folkloric motifs. Each of the designs are inspired by a specific and representative element of our culture. This collection was inspired by one of the most important elements of Día de Muertos we get the beautiful Papel Picado design. 


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