The artisan tradition found in the Alpujarra of Almeria is one of the main characteristics of the region. For many years, owners of workshops and looms, potters, saddlers and others have developed particular techniques to make their products in ways that are as natural and ecologically sustainable as possible.
Like everything that is manufactured or produced in the region, the artisans' craftsmanship follows this traditional process. Nowadays, it is common to see fairs in which each craftsman exhibits his work, and these fairs are attended not only by the inhabitants of the Alpujarra of Almeria, but also by residents of neighbouring towns.
The use of looms is a fundamental element in the craftsmanship of the Alpujarra of Almeria. Their use retains an inherited tradition that has been preserved for centuries. One of the handmade products that are made from the most well known fabrics of the Alpujarra of Almeria is the "jarapas". These beautifully coloured cloths have been made into garments that protect wearers against the cold of the mountains. The quality of these clothes means that they can be washed without losing any texture from the fabric. The term "jarapa" comes from the word for rag.
The looms of the Alpujarra of Almeria also make bags, purses, hats, blankets, scarves, etc. This is done using wool from the region's sheep, and even recycled material.
Even today it is still a wonderful spectacle to see the weavers behind the 419 thread frames that make up a loom, as they operate the pedals and produce the material for their creations. Most of them are heirs to businesses that have been passed down from their grandparents.
Pottery and ceramics
Pottery products are also well known at artisan fairs in the Alpujarra of Almeria. At these fairs it is possible to buy plates, bowls, and cups: all decorated with designs of different colours and shapes, which gives them a very unique and striking style. These events are a very traditional feature of the province.
In each city there are pottery workshops where these products are made. The owners work in their own family trade, which involves the use of professional and industrial machines. Everything is created in the most artisanal way possible, in order to preserve the traditional working methods.
Along with the looms, the pottery workshops are very typical businesses that are found in several municipalities within the Alpujarra of Almeria.
Esparto and saddlery
Esparto and saddlery products are also found in the local craft markets. There you can obtain a wide variety of creations, which include baskets, albarcas, ropes, chests and hats.
The craftsmen who make the saddlery produce extremely striking and ingenious items. Hats and cowbells are most sought after by tourists because of their unique regional style. Leather belts, purses and bags are also manufactured here, all with different colours and designs.
When the fairs are held, both of these trade groups are among the most sought after for the originality of their creations. However, they can also be found in their own craftsmen's workshops.
Honeys and jams
The creators of local jams are very innovative, and it is common to find products made from the various crops of the region. Onion jam and green tomato jam are among the most traditional recipes.
The honey is collected locally throughout the year and is of the highest quality. At each handicraft stall, you can buy both jams and honeys, together with other products typical of the Alpujarra of Almeria.