Category Archives: Clothing Design

Mexico Summer Mixed Clothing–Last Sale of the Season

Thanks to alle who picked a Mexico textile treasure this week! My storage containers are lighter now! Still more to go. I missed a few dresses, wraps and blouses on the first pass — oops, another box found. So, I’m going to squeeze in one more textile sale. Then, perhaps, I’ll have time to post a few pieces of jewelry before I leave for Oaxaca.

My departure date is June 22, so please, if you want to make a purchase, let me know immediately, and I’ll mail to you as soon as I receive payment. Mail deadline is Wednesday, June 20. Eleven pieces offered below.

How to order:

  1. Send me an email: norma.schafer@icloud.com
  2. Tell me which piece(s) you want by Number.
  3. Send me your mailing address.
  4. I will send you a PayPal invoice that includes $8 USD postage (unless you are international and I’ll calculate cost and let you know).
  5. I’ll mail to you within 24 hours.

#1. San Miguel Soyaltepec, Oaxaca, hand-embroidered huipil/dress

#1 is SOLD an embroidered dress from the island of San Miguel Soyaltepec that sits in the middle of Miguel Aleman Dam in the Chinantla region of Oaxaca between the valley and the Caribbean. I visited there some years back. There was a small group of us, only eight travelers, and 40 women selling at least four huipiles each. Do the math! On top of that, only three of us were buyers. In my desire to support a very disappointed group, I bought several. I guess it’s what I do! This one and #2 were stand-outs. Never worn. Cotton embroidery floss on 100% natural manta cotton. Hand-wash. Hang to dry or dry clean. Measures 29″ wide x 49″ long. Size L-XL.  A steal at $195 USD.

#1 detail of Soyaltepec huipil, teeny, tiny stitches

SOLD. #2 is this Olive Green Huipil also from San Miguel Soyaltepec. This village is not easy to get to. First, it’s 12 hours from Oaxaca city. Then, one needs to take a boat launch to the island! Same story as above! Measures 27″ wide x 45″ long. Another steal at $195 USD.

#2 San Miguel Soyaltepec huipil

#2 detail, huipil from San Miguel Soyaltepec

#3 is a San Antonino blouse, embroidered with deshillado

#3. The Oaxaca village of San Antonino Castillo Velasco is known for its fine embroidery and pulled thread deshillado designs that show a little skin on the bodice!  This blouse is finely done, measures 24″ wide and 25″ long. I’m selling it for $65 USD.

#3 San Antonino bodice detail

#4 cotton embroidered blouse from Yalalag, Oaxaca

#4 is excellent embroidered doll figures on natural manta cotton made in the village of Yalalag, Oaxaca, about two hours from the city. Note the hand-tucking detail. Measures 22″wide x 27″ long. Priced to sell at $45 USD.

#4 bodice detail

#5 intricate embroidered blouse, San Bartolome Ayautla

#5 is a knock-out, densely embroidered with the finest stitches I’ve ever seen. Pale yellow birds and flowers are framed in black thread on excellent quality 100% cotton manta cloth. San Bartolome Ayautla is also in the Chinantla region of Oaxaca. Some say they started this embroidery tradition that has been copied by other villages. It can take 3-4 months to make this. Measures 23-1/4″ wide x 27″ long. $250 USD.

#5. See all those little invisible puckers on the inside? Those are stitches!

#6 Zinacantan machine-embroidered blouse

#6 is SOLD a contemporary blouse from the Chiapas village of Zinacantan. It is machine-stitched floral pattern on easy-to-care-for polyester. Full disclosure! Now, it’s what all the ladies wear. Measures 28″ wide x 29″ long. $65 USD.

#7 SOLD is from Amantenango, Chiapas, the ceramics village

SOLD #7 is a traditional blouse embroidered in Amantenango, Chiapas. This is the village “uniform.” When you see someone wearing this blouse you immediately know where they are from. I was mesmerized by the very graphic, contemporary pattern and thought it might make a great pillow cover. But, I never got around to it. Definitely wearable, too. Or, hang it on the wall like a painting. Poly thread on poly cloth. Measures 28″ wide x 28″ long. $65 USD.

#8 is an indigo and coyuchi blouse from San Pedro Amusgos

Come with us to San Pedro Amusgos in January 2019.

# 8 is all natural dyes, native, hand-spun organic cotton dyed with indigo and woven with coyuchi native cotton to offer the contrasting caramel color design. From the cooperative studio of Arte Amusgos and Odilon Morales who represents his cooperative at the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market. Threads are spun with the malacate drop spindle and woven on a back-strap loom. New. Measures 25″ wide x 30″ long. $250 USD.

#9 Cuetzalan, Puebla, blouse with embroidered bodice

SOLD. #9 is from the Puebla state mountains near the village of Cuetzalan. I was there for the fair a couple of years ago and bought directly from the maker. Bodice is embroidered with sheep, birds, ducks, swans, pigs and flowers, trimmed with embroidered edging. Sexy, off the shoulder look. This is traditional for the region. Note the hand-smocking. Measures 24″ wide x 26-1/2″ long. $85 USD.

#9 bodice detail

#10, Shiny Quechquemitl from Chiapas

#10 is the traditional pre-Hispanic women’s cover-up called a quechquemitl. You pull it on over your head as a should and bodice covering. Adapt as a shawl or scarf. Very comfy to wear. This one is all synthetic fibers woven on a back strap loom with shiny, glitzy gold threads. A night out on the town, perhaps! Measures 28″ long from the neckline V to the front point, and 35″ wide across the triangle. $65 USD.

#10 detail

A few spaces open for the Chiapas Textile Study Tour 2019

#11 is a cotton blouse from San Andres Larrainzer, Chiapas

#11 a very warm caramel brown with hot pink accent design that is an integral part of the weaving on the back-strap loom.  This weaving technique is called supplementary weft and the women of San Andres are masters. The seam joinery is all done by hand. I love the color contrast and the ample amount of bodice design. Measures 26″ wide x 30″ long. $65 USD.

Thank you for looking and shopping. Buy today and I’ll mail tomorrow.

 

Summer Wraps from Mexico for Sale

In my getting ready to go back to Oaxaca from Durham, NC, I’m going through the boxes of my collection to decide what I’m ready to send off from my house to yours! My departure date is June 22, so please, if you are interested in making a purchase, let me know immediately, and I’ll mail to you as soon as I receive payment. Mail deadline is Wednesday, June 20. Eight pieces offered.

How to order:

  1. Send me an email: norma.schafer@icloud.com
  2. Tell me which piece(s) you want by Number.
  3. Send me your mailing address.
  4. I will send you a PayPal invoice that includes $8 USD postage.
  5. I’ll mail to you within 24 hours.

Also see my last post for Summer Frocks — big price reductions!

1. From Pinotepa de Don Luis on Oaxaca’s Costa Chica

#1. SOLD. This is a hand-spun native Oaxaca cotton gauze shawl embellished with local coastal figures like crabs and seahorses along with traditional symbols of fertility and wildlife. The brown is rare, native coyuchi cotton and is part of the woven cloth, called supplemental weft. Measure’s 22-1/2″ wide x 86″ long — long enough to serve as  shawl, rebozo or stole or a throw over a favorite chair or bed. $125 USD.

#1. Coyuchi and white cotton rebozo detail.

Is there a summer wedding or garden party in your future?

#2. Tlahuitoltepec, Oaxaca shawl woven on a fly-shuttle loom, indigo + cochineal

#2 SOLD is a fine quality jacquard rebozo, hand-woven on a fly-shuttle loom with the finest cotton hand-dyed with indigo and cochineal and banana bark. It comes from the Oaxaca village of Tlahuitoltepec where one weaving family creates all natural dye cotton textiles. Measures 25″ wide x 88″ long (including the macrame hand-knotted fringe called the punta). $145 USD.

#2, detail of Tlahuitoltepec rebozo

Will you be dining al fresco and want the perfect wrap?

#3 Chiapas shawl of many colors, from the Oxchuc people

#3 SOLD is a multi-colored shawl/rebozo that includes hand-twisted fringes. It will go with anything! The textile was hand-woven on the back-strap loom in a remote Oxchuc village by Catalina, a young mother who learned from her mother, who learned from her mother! To keep the tradition going it’s important to have buyers, so I chose to support them and bring their work to you. The village, where I visited, is about an hour and a half up the mountain from San Cristobal de Las Casas. Measures 23″ wide x 78″ long. $145 USD.

#3. Detail, Oxchuc rebozo, called a Chal in Chiapas.

What about that summer concert under the stars?

#4 is a lightweight gauze shawl from Venustiano Carranza, Chiapas

#4 is a beautiful white shawl hand-woven on the back-strap loom and embellished with red, rust, yellow and purple accents in designs unique to the village of Venustiano Carranza. The region is closer to the Pacific coast and gets pretty hot and steamy, so the fabrics woven there are lightweight cotton and comfortable. Drapes beautifully. Measures 26″ wide x 76″ long. $135 USD.

#4, full view of soft, white shawl from Venustiano Carranza

#5 is a Venustiano Carranza wrap in luscious pale peach

#5 shawl from Venustiano Carranza is a beautiful, subtle luscious peach color cotton woven on the back-strap loom. Imagine this draped over your shoulders. The design that is woven into the textile is also a contrasting peach color using thread that has a sheen. This gives a lovely matte-shiny finish to this piece. Measures 26-1/2″ wide x 80″ long. $135 USD.

#5 Peach rebozo detail

#6 is an ikat scarf hand-woven by Luis Rodriguez from Tenancingo de Degollado

SOLD. This #6 ikat scarf features warp threads dyed with indigo and wild marigold. The pattern created on the loom looks like a Matisse painting. The blue and yellow together offer a range of shades from yellow to chartreuse, a great compliment to the indigo blue. The punta, or fringes, are hand-knotted. Measures 16-1/2″ wide x 72″ long. $75 USD.

#6 ikat scarf detail

#7 Coyuchi cotton quechquemitl from Khadi Oaxaca

#7 is a luxuriously soft native brown coyuchi cotton hand-spun on the charkha — Ghandi spinning wheel — in the Oaxaca mountain village of San Sebastian Rio Hondo. The intricate needlework trim and joinery is forest green. The quechquemitl is a pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican garment favored by women as an over-the-head short poncho. I call it a pull-over scarf. It is perfect to wear of an evening or to cover the bodice or shoulders of a sun dress. Measures 21″ long from the V-neck to the point and 31″ wide across the front. Rotate it to get a different look. Wear it like a scarf, too. $95 USD.

#7 detail of coyuchi cotton quechquemitl

#8 Indigo and Wild Marigold Quechquemitl from Khadi Oaxaca

#8 SOLD Quechquemitl combines cotton dyed with Oaxaca-grown indigo and native wild marigold flowers. The iridescent color combination sometimes tricks you into thinking there might be some green in there. Because the cotton is hand-spun, it offers beautiful texture and slubs. Similar measurements as #7. $85 USD.

#8 Detail of indigo blue and wild marigold quechquemitl

 

Summer Frocks From Mexico For Sale

It’s getting steamy hot here in North Carolina. It reminds me of growing up in Southern California pre-air conditioning, when my mom would shut windows and shades tight as soon as the sun came up trying to keep the chill desert night contained for another day. We learned to hunker down in summer heat. Now, I like going to a matinee movie to keep cool and can walk to one easily from my downtown condo.

CHECK OUT THE SALE. PRICES REDUCED BELOW. 

I’m leaving here on June 22 to begin my return to Oaxaca for the summer, where afternoon rains serve as nature’s air conditioning. This means, if you are interested in shopping and ordering, you need to do this before June 20.

How to Order:  Send me an email. Send me your address. Tell me which item(s) you want by number. I’ll send you a PayPal invoice to complete your payment (I’ll be adding $8 mailing cost to the total.)

Okay, now for the goodies.

1A. San Antonino dress, embroidery, crochet, gathered bodice

1A. This San Antonino dress has been part of my collection, new and never worn. Notice the dense embroidered flowers and birds, the tiny dolls on the bodice that serve to hold the gathers, the fine crochet work around the neckline, sleeve edges and skirt. Bodice is 24″ wide across the front, armpit to armpit. Dress measures 40″ long. Hard to find one like this now. WAS $275 USD. BUY IT NOW $225 USD.

1B. Bodice detail with fine muñecas (dolls) that hold the gathers

1C. An abundance of flowers!

2A. Chiapas, Mexico, fine embroidered blouse from Sna Jolobil Cooperative

2. Sna Jolobil is the premiere cooperative in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, founded by Chip Morris and Pedro Meza. This pull-over is the finest 100% cotton and the embroidery hand-work is exquisite. It is a soft yellow green and the threads are so fine and dense you can’t see any of the base cloth.  Measures 26″ wide by 28″ long. $125 USD.  You can see their work at the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market this summer, too. SALE. BUY IT NOW FOR $89.

2B. Detail of Sna Jolobil blusa

3. Black gauze Aguacatenango, Chiapas, blouse made by Francisca

3.  SOLD. This lightweight, comfortable all cotton blouse with long sleeves is totally made by hand. Even the finished French seams and hem are stitched by hand. All hand-embroidered bodice and sleeve accents. Perfect for casual wear or a dressy hot summer evening. Measures 22″ wide across bodice from armpit to armpit and 30″ long. Size M-L. $85 USD.

We go to Francisca’s house in this village on our 2019 Chiapas Textile Study Tour There are a few places left. Come with us.

4. Olive green cotton gauze blouse with brilliant collar embroidery

4. SOLD. Another beauty from Francesca, this lightweight cotton blouse is trimmed in multi-colored cotton embroidery floss at neckline and cuff reflecting how Mexican women are not afraid of color. Measures 22″ wide at bust and 30″ long. Size M-L. $75 USD.

5. Wine red blouse hand-woven on a back-strap loom, Chiapas

5. SOLD. This cotton blouse is woven on a back-strap loom in the village of Aldama Magdalenas. I bought it from a small family cooperative there. It is excellent quality and the design is woven right into the cloth — a process called supplementary weft. Measures 24-1/2″ wide and 28″ long. WAS $75 USD.BUY IT NOW FOR $59 USD. 

6. Aldama blouse, hand-woven on back-strap loom

6. From the same cooperative in Aldama Magdalenas, this easy-to-care-for cotton blouse is woven on the back-strap loom in two pieces and stitched together by hand. The pattern across the chest is woven into the cloth. The trim around the neck and sleeve is embroidered by hand. SALE. WAS $65. USD. BUY IT NOW FOR $49 USD. 

7. Zinacantan flowers come to life with cross-stitching, vintage blouse

7.  SOLD. Too beautiful to pass up! It is getting more difficult to find any hand-work in Zinacantan, Chiapas these days. This is done with punto de cruz or cross-stitch. The entire bodice is filled with flowers. The base cloth is polyester (full disclosure). The ladies there don’t care, since it washes up and will dry immediately without shrinkage. They wear the blouse tucked into their fanciful skirts, so the solid fabric doesn’t show. Measures 26″ wide x 28″ long. $125 USD.

What can you use this for? Wear it! Hang it! Make a pillow out of it!

8. Zinacantan cross-stitch blouse, vintage

8. SOLD. Here is another cross-stitch blouse with fine needlework. The seams are closed with hand-stitching, too. Base cloth is polyester and there are some stains on the cloth. So, I will sell this for much less than the other. Measures 30″ wide x 27″ long. $65 USD.

What can you make from this one? A handbag? A pillow cover? Repurpose the embroidered part and sew it into the bodice of a new dress?

9. Juchitan Tehuantepec Frida Kahlo Style Blouse

9. Slinky black fabric (I think it’s polyester or rayon) is lined with cotton, and then top-stitched by machine in contrasting navy blue and white. A stunning blouse to wear with pants or a flouncy Frida Kahlo-style skirt. Perfect for cocktails (think mango mezcal margarita) on the deck or terrace. SALE. WAS $75 USD. BUY IT NOW $59 USD. 

10. Zinacantan, Chiapas Chal (shawl)

10.  SOLD. Zinacantan is the flower capital of Chiapas, exporting as far away as the Yucatan and Mexico City. Their love of flowers translates to all things clothing, ceremonial and daily wear, for men and women and children. The Chal is the necessary accessory and reflects a woman’s status (the more flowers, the more expensive) and aesthetics. Color and design popularity change each year. Sometimes we can find an outstanding barely worn chal like this one in the Sunday market. Fabric is cotton/poly blend with machine stitched embroidery. Measures 21-3/4″ wide x 46″ long. $125 USD.

Wear it. Drape it over the back of a chair. Use it as a bed throw. Make it into a pillow. Hang it. Add sparkle and a lasting bouquet to your living area.

I am constantly acquiring the hand-work of Mexican artisans. Mostly because I love and appreciate their talent, because I enjoy showing that appreciation when I visit their homes and workshops by buying something despite the fact that I don’t need it! I rarely bargain, paying what they ask. I know that hours of work goes into making a garment or a piece of jewelry.

Sometimes I overdo it! Hah. That’s when I take to the blog and offer these to you.

Of course, you can come with me to

Chiapas in February 2019 and do your own shopping!

Dye from Murex Snails Colors Ancient Cloth Blue and Purple

Writing from Santa Fe, NM: I’m staying at the house of my textile designer friend Norma Cross, who creates felted fiber clothing using natural dyes, wool, silk, and cotton.

An array of natural dyes, including caracol and indigo, used to weave cloth

I brought with me a shirt made on the Oaxaca coast with threads colored purple from the caracol purpura dye. That led her to send me this article about the Phoenician history of harvesting the purple snail and dyeing religious and political garments with snail ink.

Linking Ancient Snails to Common Threads in Israel Today

Indigo, cochineal and caracol purpura huipil, Pinotepa de Don Luis

This process is still in practice today in Oaxaca, Mexico, along the Pacific Coast. The murex snail is now extinct in Morocco where the Phoenicians plied the waters during the Roman Empire. It is extinct now in most places around the world. There is a revival in Israel where the natural blue color is being used for religious garments as it once was in the 8th century.


Preservation of the snail and it’s priceless ink is alive and well in Oaxaca. Yet, the risk of extinction is high because of poaching. I hear that the resort hotels in Huatulco make a special cocktail using the purple snail. They buy the dye from people who illegally harvest it. And, people are unconscious consumers!

On our Textile Tour of Oaxaca’s Costa Chica, starting January 11, 2019, we will see some glorious handwoven cotton fabrics where the supplementary weft and embroidered threads of the joinery use the rare purple dye. The pieces are created in two neighboring villages, San Juan Colorado and Pinotepa de Don Luis, where we will visit artisans and see how they prepare the native cloth.

I hope you can join us.

Questions? Please contact me.

 

Mexico in Durham, North Carolina: Art & Textiles Trunk Show

INDIO owner Wendy Sease recently traveled with me to Chiapas. She bought up beautiful treasures for her shop. I’ve just returned to my apartment in Durham, North Carolina, for a couple of months with three suitcases filled with textiles and jewelry. We decided to collaborate.

YOU ARE INVITED. Bring a friend.

Plus, the BIG news is that my godson, twenty-three year old Omar Chavez Santiago, a recent industrial engineering university graduate, just received his FIRST 10-year visa to visit the USA. This is a really big deal, since the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City is pretty thrifty in giving visas.

Omar plans to talk about the 100% natural dyes used to color the pure churro sheep wool his family at Galeria Fe y Lola uses in the rugs they weave and give demonstrations. He will have beautiful tapestry rugs for sale, too. They come in all sizes.

Where is INDIO? Historic Brightleaf Square, Downtown Durham

Brick and mortar sales are hard for people who live far away. I know that. Look for a few pieces I’ll be offering online in the next few weeks, too.