Khadi Oaxaca Clothing Now Comes in Yardage, Too

Khadi Oaxaca makes hand-spun organic cotton. Over 100 indigenous women participate in this cooperative located in the Oaxaca mountains halfway between the Oaxaca city and the coast. It takes about three hours to get there.

Dress with rolled sleeves and patch pockets.

Dress with rolled sleeves and patch pockets.

At the winter Museo Textil de Oaxaca expoventa (show and sale), Khadi Oaxaca presented an extensive selection of beautiful clothing — mostly ponchos, quechquemitls, huipils and men’s shirts. Some of the textiles are woven on the back strap loom and others on the counterbalance pedal loom also called a flying shuttle loom.

There was lots to choose from, including bolts of beautiful handwoven material. The cotton is dyed with indigo, pericone (wild marigold) and Khadi Oaxaca also harvests and spins coyuchi, a caramel-colored, very soft wild cotton indigenous to Oaxaca and becoming very rare.

Khadi Oaxaca fabric close up, with neckline detail. Organic handspun cotton: indigo, coyuchi, pericone.

Khadi Oaxaca fabric close up, with neckline detail. Organic handspun cotton: indigo, coyuchi, pericone.

I was beside myself and had this urge to sew up a dress using a paper pattern I made from a favorite dress. I have made this dress design several times and the Khadi Oaxaca yardage was calling me. Especially the piece woven with coyuchi, indigo and pericone.

Yardage?  Not exactly.

We are in Mexico and fabric length is measured in meters, not yards. We measured the dress I was wearing (one of the favorites) and decided I needed four meters, compensating for the fact that the cloth is 15-1/4″ wide. There are 0.914 meters to the yard or 1.093 yards to the meter. Never mind that after cutting out the pattern, I was substantially short!  Could I make this dress sleeveless? I think not.

The Museo Textile de Oaxaca has Khadi Oaxaca textile lengths for sale. When I sent a message to Khadi Oaxaca, they told me they would bring the meters I needed to museum! Thank you and hallelujah for great customer service. Price: 350 pesos per meter.

Patch pockets. French seams! Love the slubs and irregularities of the weave.

Patch pockets. French seams! Love the slubs and irregularities of the weave.

After the intensity of our Oaxaca Women’s Creative Writing and Yoga Retreat last week that I fully participated in, writing about mother, father, family and home, I loved the down-time that this project gave me. I’ll be writing about the retreat in days to come.




8 responses to “Khadi Oaxaca Clothing Now Comes in Yardage, Too

  1. Can I order this fabric and/or dresses made from it from Oaxaca? I have relocated to San Diego CA from Connecticut, and the weight of this fabric is perfect for the climate. I’ve spent time in Oaxaca over the past 25 years and adore everything there.


  2. This is amazing! Great design and the fabric speaks quietly for itself.

  3. Hola Norma,
    I never write to you but want to say today a huge GRACIAS for all the interesting letters and articles you write, with so interesting pictures.
    A question about this material. Would love to buy some and make myself a dress too when I go back to Canada in April. Can you tell me if they sell this material by meter at The Museo de textil?
    With many thanks.

    • Madeleine, I’m honored that today is the day! Thank you for the lovely message of warmth and thanks. Sometimes I just run out of steam, so a message like yours gives me a boost! Yes, they sell Khadi Oaxaca material by the meter at the Museo Textil de Oaxaca. When I was there last Saturday, I bought the last bit of this. But there is other wonderful Khadi Oaxaca fabric there. Happy sewing. P.S. You could also contact Khadi Oaxaca on Facebook (the link is on my post) and ask them to bring this particular material to the museum for you to purchase. Un abrazo, Norma
      P.P.S. Send me a photo if you end up sewing up some of their cloth!

  4. What beautiful material! I’ll be in Oaxaca in October for Dia de Los Muertos (showing friends around who have never been there) and I’d love to know if there will be a way to find this material in the city. And by the way – I made reservations with Reyna for a cooking class! Will you be there at that time?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *