Category Archives: Textiles, Tapestries & Weaving

Oaxaca Rugs in Philadelphia, Pa.

Omar Chavez Santiago from Galeria Fe y Lola in Oaxaca is traveling with me to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the end of the week to start a series of rug exhibitions, sales and natural dye demonstrations.

Events start on Saturday, October 27, 2018. We hope if you live in the region you can stop by.  On November 5 and 6, Omar will be in New York City — his first time to the Big Apple. We will confirm dates, announce location and time soon.

Huge thanks to Leah Reisman, Ellen Benson, Suzanne Bakewell and Kathleen Bakewell for organizing Omar’s visit. They made it happen!

We hope to see you. I’ll be there the first weekend. Stop by to say Hello!

Please share so we can give Omar a big Philly welcome. It’s his first time there.

If you want a PDF flyer, send me an email!

Photo Essay: Oaxaca Cochineal Dye Workshop in Durham, NC

Cochineal dyed wool scarves drying

Yesterday, my Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, godson Omar Chavez Santiago, from Galeria Fe y Lola, taught a cochineal natural dye workshop through INDIO Durham, hosted by owner Wendy Sease.  We had a sold-out workshop.

Acid base using fresh lime juice turns the dye bath orange

Most people don’t know that cochineal is the natural dye that colors lipstick, Campari, yogurt, and wine. Anything labeled carminic acid comes from cochineal. When you manipulate the pH, you can change the dye color.

Cochineal dyed silk

When you over-dye with blue, the cloth becomes purple. When you start with wild marigold and over-dye with cochineal, the cloth becomes peach color. The color of the sheep wool will also determine the shades of red.

Cochineal dyed wool

The wool must be washed/cleaned or mordanted first before it is dyed. This takes out the lanolin and makes the wool more receptive to accepting the color. The cochineal mordant bath is clear water with alum, heated to dissolve the natural rock. Wool dyed with cochineal needs mordanting. Wool dyed with indigo does not.

Taking the wool out of the bath that mordants the wool

Once the wool is cleaned, we prepare the cochineal dye bath dissolving the powdered bugs into hot water and stirring.

A red pullover scarf called a quechquemitl coming out of the dye bath

For a deeper color red, the wool must stay in the dye pot for at least an hour. At home in Teotitlan del Valle, Omar and his family will keep the yard they weave rugs with in the dye bath overnight to get the most intense color.

Another view of a dyed wool scarf coming out of the dye bath

Eight women gathered around Wendy’s kitchen to prepare the mordant and dye pots after Omar gave an introduction and orientation to the cochineal and its color properties.

Cooking it up in Wendy’s kitchen

He brought hand-woven wool scarves with him from Oaxaca that each participant could work with.

Omar coaching participants as they get ready to immerse their scarves

Fresh lime juice is essential because the acid is the necessary ingredient to alter the color of the dye bath. This is exactly how the family does it at home in Oaxaca — an entirely hand-made process.

Everyone squeezed limes by hand!

You can come to Oaxaca for a natural dye workshop or a tapestry weaving workshop. Contact Norma Schafer, Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC. We can fit your schedule.

It was a perfect NC day — our outdoor dye kitchen

Wool wet and waiting for the dye pot

When you bring the cloth out of the pot you want to make sure not to waste the cochineal. It cost over $100 USD per kilo, so you squeeze the liquid out over the dye pot to reuse it.

Squeezing the excess liquid

A study in color variation depending on wool type and dye bath

Hot purple and juicy lime, a great color contrast of wool in bowl

Three scarves in black and white

Experimenting with shibori

 

 

 

Oaxaca Weaver in Raleigh-Durham, NC, October 17-21, 2018

Omar Chavez Santiago, a young talented weaver from Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, and Galeria Fe y Lola, will be in Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina for a set of talks, cochineal dye demonstrations and textile sales from October 17 to October 21, 2018. Events are open to the public.

Please attend and share widely! Thank you.

INDIO Durham

In addition to rugs, Omar will offer handbags, totes, shibori wool scarves, and other textiles for sale. All are colored with natural dyes.

Shibori scarves, dyed with cochineal, indigo, wild marigold

I am fortunate to call Teotitlan del Valle home, where I live a good part of the year with Omar’s family on their land on the outskirts of the village.

Oaxaca Cochineal Dye Workshop in Durham, North Carolina

Thanks to Wendy Sease at INDIO Durham, Omar Chavez Santiago is coming back to North Carolina in mid-October for a trunk show and natural cochineal dye workshop. He will also be demonstrating at Meredith College in a textile residency program.

Cochineal is the insect that produces carminic acid (think Campari, lipstick, yogurt), that tantalizing RED that the Aztecs, then Spanish adored.

Featured are:

  • Tapestry-loomed rugs hand-made with 100% natural dyes
  • Indigo blue dyed wool scarves and shawls in time for winter
  • Gorgeous hand-bags and totes, all with natural dyes

From October 27 to November 6, Omar is traveling to Philadelphia, Pa, and New York, NY, to exhibit, demonstrate and sell beautiful tapestry rugs at various locations. I’ll be posting the schedule soon. If you live in the NE Corridor, stay tuned!

 

Oaxaca What-Nots and Rugs, Settling Into North Carolina

I’ve been in North Carolina for a week, arriving safely on the tail of Hurricane Florence. In some parts here, it is still treacherous, but not where I live when I’m here in Durham, NC. My two pieces of luggage each weighed in at 49 pounds and some ounces. Maximum is 50 pounds without penalty.

SOLD. #1. All Naturals Lightening Rug. 57-1/2″ long x 31″ wide. $350 USD

#1 is all natural sheep wool in tones of grey, cream and brown, with traditional fringes. A complex design to weave. Shipping to anywhere in the USA is $8.

I stuffed them with what-nots and rugs, aprons (flouncy and more simple), stylish market tote bags, and a selection of Zayzelle dresses and pullover scarves. Some were pre-sold. Many were not. I guess this is what I do when I come to this part of home! Make Oaxaca available to you.

#2 Butterflies. All natural. 58-1/2″ long x 29-1/2″ wide. $260 USD

#2 is a butterfly motif accented with the mountains and rain pattern. $8 mailing to anywhere in USA. 

Catching up with friends, keeping routine medical appointments for check-ups, walking and sewing is what I do here. Not much different from life in Teotitlan del Valle in terms of activities, but lifestyle worlds apart.

SOLD. #3 Runner. 116″ long x 30″ wide. All natural wool. $385.

#3 is part of my collection, unused but stored for a couple of years. I’d like it to go out the door! It is large, so will weigh more and mailing is $26 USD to anywhere in the USA. 

#4. B&W Large Market Tote. Woven plastic. 20x13x5″ $55. Two available.

#4 is a snazzy, elegant tote, sturdy and functional with double straps. I use mine to carry an umbrella, farmer’s market produce, an extra wrap. I sling it over my shoulder and it goes along with me everywhere. Mailing is $8 to anywhere in USA. 

Here in NC there are no barking dogs, no corn fields, no mountains, no patio or terrace, no hand-made blue corn tortillas. Here, I get uninterrupted sleep. Here,  there is the pulse of urban life in a country that continues to need my attention. I will not give up my voice. Usually everyday I make a call or send a text to my U.S. Senator. Remember John McCain, I want to tell him. He would do the right thing.

SOLD. #5. All natural zigzag rug. 42″long x 28″ wide. $265.

#5 is a sawtooth zigzag rug in all the natural sheep colors. Note that fringes are tucked in for easy vacuuming. $8 to mail anywhere in the USA.

I brought a few rugs back woven by friends in Teotitlan del Valle who need the money. One family just had a new baby. The other has two daughters pursuing college educations — costly on a rug-weaver’s income. Another is by a woman who weaves for a family enterprise and wants a bit of her own money.

SOLD. #6 Zapotec Diamond with Feathers. 58-1/2″ long x 31″ wide. $295.

#6 is tones of gray sheep wool, accented with dark brown and hints of gold and cream. $8 to ship anywhere in USA. 

These weavers are not famous and their prices are modest in comparison to others. The quality is very good. I bought them outright at the asking prices to help and passing these savings on to you.

#7. Turquoise apron, size 38 (M-L). $55 + $8 mailing.

#8. Simple gingham apron, $20 + $8 mailing. Size M-L.

#9 Flouncy Artful Apron. Size M. $75 + $8 mailing.

#10. Raspberry Sateen Apron, Size S-M. $95 + $8 mailing.

If anything appeals to you, let me know by email. norma.schafer@icloud.com

Tell me

  • Your name and mailing address
  • The Item Number

I will then send you an invoice and as soon as I receive funds, I will package up and get it in the mail to you.

Thanks so much, Norma.