Tag Archives: back-strap loom

Shop Open: Textiles — Amusgos of Xochistlahuaca

The Amusgo people live in the remote southwestern region of Guerrero and northwestern area of Oaxaca known as the Costa Chica. They have been there for generations, long before there were state borders that separated them. In Xochistlahuaca (so-chees-lah-wahkah), and throughout the Amusgo region, the women are noted for their extraordinary back-strap loom weaving.

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SOLD. #1, Violeta. 21×26. $145

I am trying to help out cooperatives I know during these Covid times when there are no tourists and little opportunity for women to sell their beautiful work. We visited this cooperative on our Oaxaca Coast Textile Tour.

Today, there are 18 garments total. Some use locally grown native cotton: green (verde), white (blanco) and coyuchi (honey colored) grown on small plots that are farmed by both women and men. Even as we are approaching winter, these make beautiful, colorful tops to layer over a long-sleeve silk T-shirt to wear with leggings, pants, jeans or a skirt.

To Buy: Please email me normahawthorne@mac.com with your name, mailing address and item number. I will mark it SOLD, send you a PayPal link to purchase and add $12 for cost of mailing. Please be sure to select Send Money to Family and Friends! We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

SOLD. #2, Eutimia. 26×30. Gauze Huipil. $220

#2 is a finely woven gauze huipil, shorter than the full-length version and perfect to wear over a skirt or slacks.

Return Policy: We support artisans and funds get transferred immediately. There are no returns or refunds. This is a final sale.

About Tejadoras de Llanura de las Flores, from Yesi Lopez de Jesus

“We are a group of women from the municipality of Xochistlahuaca, the original community where the Amusgos people live. We decided to work in a group that we named the Cooperativa Llanura de las Flores — Plain of Flowers — which is the meaning of the name of our Suljaa people in our indigenous language. This is what Xochistlahuaca means in the Amusgo language: Plain of Flowers.

SOLD. #3, Maximinia, 29×29. Native Cotton: Green, Coyuchi + White. $265

#3 combines all three native cotton colors and is woven in the traditional Guerrero Amusgo style — three densely woven designs on the bodice (compared with the Oaxaca version that incorporates two woven designs).

SOLD. #4 Cooperativa. Native Coyuchi + White Cotton, 35-1/2×52, $750

#4 is a full-length huipil, rare for it’s beauty and for its exclusive use of coyuchi cotton yarn, that is hand-beaten to soften it, then hand-spun on the malacate (drop spindle), before it is woven on the back-strap loom. This is an unusual pattern that I have never seen before. Definitely a collector’s piece.

SOLD. #5, Adela Santiago Evangelista. 22-1/2×28. $120

To Buy: Please email me normahawthorne@mac.com with your name, mailing address and item number. I will mark it SOLD, send you a PayPal link to purchase and add $12 for cost of mailing. Please be sure to select Send Money to Family and Friends! We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

#6 Cooperativa, Native Green, Coyuchi + White Cotton Huipil, 30×46, $750

#6 is another collector’s piece that is an extraordinary combination of all three native cottons, all locally grown and hand-spun.

SOLD. #7 Divina de Jesus. 29×42. Rare White-on-White Huipil. $295

#7 is a fine gauze woven white-on-white huipil that is unusual in that it is now very difficult to find a garment of this quality in the colorway.

To Buy: Please email me normahawthorne@mac.com with your name, mailing address and item number. I will mark it SOLD, send you a PayPal link to purchase and add $12 for cost of mailing. Please be sure to select Send Money to Family and Friends! We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

#7 Detail, White on White Gauze Huipil
SOLD. #8, Margarita. 22×29. $85
#9, Marcela. 31×43. Coyuchi, wild native cotton. $485

Return Policy: We support artisans and funds get transferred immediately. There are no returns or refunds. This is a final sale.

#10, Cooperative. 31×50. Gala Huipil. $675

#10 is a traditional special occasion huipil used in the village for festival days. The randa (needlework joinery) is complex and detailed, making this a very special piece.

#10 Detail. Intricate embroidery
SOLD. #11, Maximinia. 17-1/2×23. Natural Dyes. $75
SOLD. #12, Margarita. 23×28. $120
SOLD. #13, Eutimia Salinas Lopez. 20-1/2×26-1/2, $85

To Buy: Please email me normahawthorne@mac.com with your name, mailing address and item number. I will mark it SOLD, send you a PayPal link to purchase and add $12 for cost of mailing. Please be sure to select Send Money to Family and Friends! We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

Return Policy: We support artisans and funds get transferred immediately. There are no returns or refunds. This is a final sale. Please take your measurements carefully.

SOLD. #14, Maximina. 31×45. Natural Dyes: Zapote Negro, Native White Cotton. $485
SOLD. #15, Divinia de Jesus. 23×28. $120
SOLD. #17, Margarita. 23×26. $145

Textile Care: Dry clean or wash by hand. To wash, turn garment inside out. Immerse in cold water using a mild soap such as Fels Naptha or baby shampoo. Don’t use Woolite — it leeches color. Gently massage the cloth. Squeeze and roll in a towel to absorb excess water. Hang to dry. Use medium heat to iron if needed.

SOLD. #18, Eutimia. Scarf, 16wx76L, $145
#18 Detail

To Buy: Please email me normahawthorne@mac.com with your name, mailing address and item number. I will mark it SOLD, send you a PayPal link to purchase and add $12 for cost of mailing. Please be sure to select Send Money to Family and Friends! We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

Return Policy: We support artisans and funds get transferred immediately. There are no returns or refunds. This is a final sale.

About Tejadoras de Llanura de las Flores, from Yesi Lopez de Jesus

“We are a group of 25 women from the municipality of Xochistlahuaca, the original community where the Amusgos people live. We decided to work in a group that we named the Cooperativa Llanura de las Flores — Plain of Flowers — which is the meaning of the name of our Suljaa people in our indigenous language. This is what Xochistlahuaca means in Amusgo: Plain of Flowers.

“We learned to weave and spin thread from our mothers, grandmothers, aunts and sisters. Weaving is learned and transmitted from generation to generation. Now, we understand that with threads we create art. In each textile that we make, there is a piece of us, our time, our knowledge, patience, love and part of our life.

“It is necessary to work in a cooperative to help each other out as women, to contribute to the economic well-being of our household, to feed, educate and provide healthcare for our children and our families.

“The textile, the huipil, everything we create with the threads and our imagination, is not only a piece for sale or simple merchandise. Our creations are living pieces in which we capture part of our daily life. We weave the iconography of our Plain of Flowers.

“This is why we think that as a cooperative we can continue working and sharing with the younger generations so that this ancient knowledge is never lost.

“We continue to weave, fighting for life, defending and preserving the loom and native cotton.”

When you purchase one (or more) of these beautiful textiles, you are bringing the heart and soul of the weaver and her family closer to you. Not only do you add beauty to your own life, you are supporting the history of back-strap loom weaving in Mexico and giving women an opportunity to earn a fair wage from their work. You provide sustenance and continuity. You provide hope and courage. You provide value and meaning.

Take 20% OFF San Mateo del Mar Textiles

These are the last four pieces from yesterday’s sale. I’m getting ready to send funds to the weavers in Oaxaca. I’d like to be able to say, We sold out, and send them 100% of the funds. Can you help get us over the top, help the weavers and have something beautiful to wear?

To Buy: Please email me normahawthorne@mac.com with your name, mailing address and item number. I will mark it SOLD, send you a PayPal link to purchase and add $12 for cost of mailing. Please be sure to select Send Money to Family and Friends! We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

SOLD. #1. Soft, finely woven cotton. 29″W x 27″ Long. Was $335. Now $268.
#1 Detail
#2 Poncho. 37″W x 31″ Long. Was $450. Now $360.

The poncho is 100% cotton woven on the back-strap loom. A perfect weight to transition from to autumn and winter and back again to spring. For comfy wrapping to take the chill off. Pullover. One size fits most.

Poncho inside finish work.
#3. Dress. Fine cotton with indigo. 25Wx48L. Was $675. Now $540.

A beautifully woven full-length dress with whimsical designs woven into the fabric (called bordado): fish, sea creatures, deer — reflecting the flora and fauna of the region.

Detail #3
SOLD. #4 Black with shades of purple. 25Wx27L. Was $250. Now $200.

All sales are final. I am sorry, we do not accept returns. Funds go directly to the weavers to support their families and life’s work.

Shop Open: Textiles from San Mateo del Mar, Oaxaca

It’s hot on the southern coast of Oaxaca on the Pacific Ocean where it meets the state of Chiapas. Hot and humid. Situated on a spit of sand in the Juchitan district sits the fishing village of San Mateo del Mar. The region is home to about 14,000 Huave speakers, a native indigenous language. The community has been in existence for at least 3,000 years.

Today: Featuring the textiles of Francisca Palafox Heran and family

In all my years of living in Oaxaca, I’ve not come across these many pieces woven by the master Francisca, who Remigio Mestas selected as the most outstanding weaver in San Mateo del Mar.

SOLD. #15. Collector’s Piece. Silk, Egyptian cotton, indigo, cochineal gauze blusa, 29″W x 33″L, $995
#15. detail, woven by Jazmin Azucena with her initials JAPP

As you can imagine, there is a need there for flowing, lightweight textiles, and the women are talented back-strap loom weavers who can produce extraordinary, fine, lightweight and gauzy fabrics that are replete with images of birds, fishing scenes, palm trees, sea creatures. The figures are woven into the cloth and are NOT embroidered — a remarkable talent.

To Buy: Please email me normahawthorne@mac.com with your name, mailing address and item number. I will mark it SOLD, send you a PayPal link to purchase and add $12 for cost of mailing. Please be sure to select Send Money to Family and Friends! We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

#1. Cotton. 29″W x 27″ Long. $$335
#1 detail

Notably, the finest weaver of the village is Francisca Palafox Heran. Her daughter Jazmin Azucena is following in her footsteps. Their textiles and those of the family are featured today.

SOLD. #2 Natural dyed mahogany cotton with indigo, 24″x39″, $455

A few of these pieces are for collectors. Most are perfect for summer into fall and back to spring daily wearing. You can layer them over a silk T-shirt for colder climates.

SOLD. #3 Signed JAPP, indigo, cochineal, wild marigold, cotton/silk, 28×28, $695
#3 Detail with weaver Jazmin Azucena’s initials
SOLD. #4 Indigo, mahogany dyes by Francisca Palafox. 23×28. $525
#4 Detail. Palm trees, turtles, crabs, by Francisca Palafox. Find FPH initials.

To Buy: Please email me normahawthorne@mac.com with your name, mailing address and item number. I will mark it SOLD, send you a PayPal link to purchase and add $12 for cost of mailing. Please be sure to select Send Money to Family and Friends! We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

SOLD. #5. Red/black cotton blusa. 25×28. $335
#5 detail, mid-weight cotton
SOLD. #6 Signed FPH Francisca Palafox Heran, cotton/silk, 38×32, $395
#6 Detail with signature — white threads are silk
#7, cotton w/indigo, 25×48, $675
#7 Detail, reindeer, crab, fish, lightening motifs

To Buy: Please email me normahawthorne@mac.com with your name, mailing address and item number. I will mark it SOLD, send you a PayPal link to purchase and add $12 for cost of mailing. Please be sure to select Send Money to Family and Friends! We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

SOLD. #8 by FPH Francisca Palafox Heran, 30×28, $395
#6 Detail, FPH initials
#8 inside out! Threads woven back into the fabric!
#9, mid-weight cotton, black contrasted with purple, 25×27, $265
SOLD. #10, airy-weave cotton, 27×27, $335
SOLD. #11 FPH by Francisca Palafox Heran, mahogany + indigo, 27×31, $425
#11 detail. Can you find FPH initials near the boats?

These three ponchos below are a heavy weight cotton, all made on the back-strap loom by Jazmin Azucena Pinzon Palafox. They are perfect for transitioning from summer to autumn, from winter to spring. An easy-to-wear cover-up — for style and comfort, almost like wearing your own cozy blanket! One size fits most. A pullover with open sides.

SOLD. #13 Poncho, 37×31, $450
Inside poncho detail — amazing back-strap loom finish work
SOLD. #14, Poncho, cotton, 37×31, $450
#12, Poncho, 37×31, cotton, $450
SOLD. #16 Traditional machine embroidered Juchitan huipil, $85 — sew the sides to fit you!

To Buy: Please email me normahawthorne@mac.com with your name, mailing address and item number. I will mark it SOLD, send you a PayPal link to purchase and add $12 for cost of mailing. Please be sure to select Send Money to Family and Friends! We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

Textile Care: Dry clean or wash by hand. To wash, turn garment inside out. Immerse in cold water using a mild soap such as Fels Naptha or baby shampoo. Don’t use Woolite — it leeches color. Gently massage the cloth. Squeeze and roll in a towel to absorb excess water. Hang to dry. Use medium heat to iron if needed.

Return Policy: We support artisans and funds get transferred immediately. There are no returns or refunds. This is a final sale.

Arrived: New Box of Oaxaca Huipiles

I promised it would give you advance notice about when I received this next shipment of 14 huipiles from Las Sanjuaneras, San Juan Colorado, Oaxaca. The box arrived today! Please keep a look-out for when I will post them for sale. It will likely be on Friday, August 21, 2020 or Saturday, August 22, 2020. Stay tuned!

Only 14 pieces because this is all by hand, limited production. Slow fashion.

The story behind receiving these huipiles: Camerina, the cooperative leader, and Ana Paula Fuentes send me photos and I select the ones I think you will most like. Camerina packages them up and takes them to the nearest town, Pinotepa Nacional, to mail to her daughter Edivigus who lives in Oaxaca. Edivigus had a few to add to the shipment. She found a Maria’s cookie box, put the textiles in a plastic bag, carefully sealed the box and sent it to me via Estafeta.

14 pieces of artisan-made huipiles, thread made by hand using a drop spindle

Estafeta is a domestic Mexican trucking company. Their shipping prices are very reasonable, however it takes two to three weeks for the package to arrive in the USA. When it gets to the border, what happens? They have an agreement with UPS Ground to transfer international packages to the Brown Trucks and get them to their destination. Very efficient, I think!

All natural dyes, hand-woven on a back-strap loom, native Oaxaca cotton

For the next day, I will hang and steam press each garment. Then, I will take the photographs and measurements. I’ll identify the weaver and which natural dyes are used for each piece. I’ll then post each photo along with the descriptive information here. It may be Friday or Saturday before I am able to complete everything.

Natural dyes include wild marigold, indigo, mahogany, beets

These are unique, one-of-a-kind hand-woven textiles made by one of the finest Oaxaca cooperatives. Since there are only 14 pieces I am offering for sale, please be sure you check back in the next few days so you don’t miss out!

Fragile cookies. Handle with care. Don’t step on the box.

Thank you for your support of this deserving group of women and for Oaxaca. All best wishes, Norma

Bringing Oaxaca Textiles to You: Las Sanjuaneras Cooperative

Oh, dear, I thought. We have a textile tour to visit the cooperatives on the Oaxaca coast this January 2021. What if we don’t get there because of Covid-19? The best I can do now is bring them to us until we know if we hold this tour … or not. I contacted Las Sanjuaneras in San Juan Colorado, a pueblo located in the coastal mountains near Pinotepa Nacional. Why? Because they weave exceptionally fine garments AND they have no Internet presence for online sales — no website, no Instagram, no Facebook. They need our help.

Las Sanjuaneras weaving cooperative

15 Gorgeous Hand-woven, Naturally-Dyed Textiles for Sale

To Buy: Please email me normahawthorne@mac.com with your name, garment number, mailing address. I will mark your choice SOLD, send you a PayPal invoice and add $12 for cost of mailing.

So, I contacted Ana Paula Fuentes from the CADA Foundation. She worked with the group in the past. I selected garments from photos she sent via cooperative leader Camerina Cabrera and I prepaid shipping so Las Sanjuaneras would have no out-of-pocket expenses. As soon as the pieces sell, I will send funds to them via Western Union. It’s a win-win for all of us.

SOLD. #2. Maker: Delfina Quiroz. Dyes: nanche, indigo, almond. 38″ wide x 39″ long. $295
SOLD. #4 Maker: Brisaida. Dyes: Indigo and ferrous oxide. 34″w x 41″ long. $295

Here’s some background about Las Sanjuaneras sent by Ana Paula to share with you:

Five weavers started Las San Juaneras in the year 2000 — 20 years ago, in the Mixtec village of San Juan Colorado on Oaxaca’s Costa Chica region where 80% of the women are back-strap loom weavers and spinners. Today, their membership has grown to 16 women. Most are younger, invited by the elders to join them to keep their traditions vibrant, to become stronger, to share ideas, and to encourage and support one another.

SOLD. #5 Maker: Catalina Garcia Nejia. Dyes: wil marigold, mahogany bark. 34″ w x 41″ long. $265

To Buy: Please email me normahawthorne@mac.com with your name, garment number, mailing address. I will mark your choice SOLD, send you a PayPal invoice and add $12 for cost of mailing.

#6 by Margarita Nicolas Hernandez. Dyes: guava, wild marigold, Brazil wood, beets, iron oxide. 37″ wide x 43″ long. $325

In September 2017, Ana Paula with Maddalena Forcella were invited to collaborate with the group to build their creative competency, design innovation and quality. Their goal was to differentiate their weavings from others in the community and to create a more cohesive team. This included integrating the younger women and developing skills to transform lives in a positive, healthy and sustainable way. The important by-product was to revive and reinforce their traditional techniques and empower the community through shared knowledge.

SOLD. #7 by Delfina Quiroz. Dyes: Brazil wood, mahogany, guava, beet. 34″w x 36″ long. $295.
SOLD. #8 by Delfina Quiroz. Dyes: indigo and nanche. 34″ w x 38″ long. $265.

They dye the native wild cotton that grows in the region themselves using only native plant materials — flowers, fruit, wood bark. They buy coyuchi cotton and the purple shell-dyed (caracol purpura) cotton from others in San Juan Colorado and Pinotepa de Don Luis.

Sold. #9 by Brisaida Garcia. Dyes: indigo & coyuchi. 31″ w x 45″ long. $285.
Indigo-dyed cotton. Las Sanjuaneras. Photo by Ana Paula Fuentes.
#11 by Camerina Cabrera. Dyes: indigo & nanche. 31-1/2″ w x 34″ long. $195.
Sold #13 by Camerina Cabrera. Dyes: indigo & natural cotton. 35″ w x 41″ long. $195
SOLD. #14 by Aurora Nicolas. Dyes: almond bark, indigo. 35″ w x 36″ long. $225

The garments represented here are some of the finest workmanship I am aware of in all of Oaxaca state. I hope you find something you will enjoy collecting and wearing. And, on behalf of the women, thank you for your help and support.

To Buy: Please email me normahawthorne@mac.com with your name, garment number, mailing address. I will mark your choice SOLD, send you a PayPal invoice and add $12 for cost of mailing.

SOLD. #15 by Brisaida. Dyes: mahogany, marigold, indigo. 37″ w x 40″ long. $225
SOLD. #16 by Maria Ines. Dyes: mahogany, wild marigold. 36″w x 38″ long. $295.
SOLD. #17 by Camerina Cabrera. Dyes: indigo, wild marigold. 21-1/2″w x 44″ long. $165.

All these garments are made with natural cotton native to the Oaxaca coast. The cotton is cleaned, beaten, and hand-spun using a malacate drop-spindle. Then the threads are dyed in the dye bath before they are put onto the back-strap loom. The process is labor-intensive and painstakingly precise. This is the work of women (and some men are now learning) that goes back centuries, millenia! Most learned to weave starting at age eight. Only a few are masters at spinning.

Las Sanjuaneras weaver. Photo by Ana Paula Fuentes

To Buy: Please email me normahawthorne@mac.com with your name, garment number, mailing address. I will mark your choice SOLD, send you a PayPal invoice and add $12 for cost of mailing.