Tag Archives: clothing

Leslie’s Regrets Sale: Clothing From Chiapas and Oaxaca

I had this crazy idea of starting an on-line e-commerce website marketplace to sell and resell new and like-new Mexico clothing AND my own dress design.

(Skip the story, if you like, and scroll down to the goods.)

(I’ve been making and wearing the same dress pattern in different fabrics for the last several years. I thought, oh, I could make and sell these dresses too, because women have stopped to ask me where I bought  it!)

I bought a domain name and tried to set up a Shopify store for the last two weeks. I’m frustrated. I can’t seem to get it. Too complicated. Too much time invested without decent results. Not good enough to publish, yet.

Meanwhile, I promised my friend Leslie, who did more than what was required to support artisan weavers and dyers on trips she took with me to Chiapas and the Oaxaca coast, to help her sell what she bought and has not worn.  So, here are six beautiful pieces of clothing. You buy from me and Leslie ships to you from Denver, Colorado. Easy. You get it in a few days! See below on how to buy.

#1. San Antonino embroidered and crochet blouse in black and white

#1. SOLD. Flowers galore like a summer garden filled with pansies in a subdued palette of black, white with a tad of blue/gray for accent and depth. A masterful piece of embroidery work from one of the greats in the Oaxaca village of San Antonino Castillo Velasco. Brand new, never worn. Easy wash by hand or in machine on gentle, cold water, hang to dry. No ironing needed. Size Medium. $225 USD includes 3-day priority shipping in continental USA.

#1 detail of B&W San Antonino blusa

#2 San Mateo del Mar double-weave shawl, deep purple

#2. This stunning shawl was made on the back-strap loom in the Oaxaca Coast community of San Mateo del Mar. In 2017, the town was hit by an immense earthquake and the village was decimated. Many weavers suffered, losing their homes. We bought this at an earthquake relief sale on our Oaxaca Coast Textile Study Tour to benefit the weavers. It is 100% cotton and 100% made-by-hand. One-of-a-kind. For those of you who love graphic design and making a fashion impact, this shawl will fulfill all your wishes. Note: The shawl photographs black but it is a deep purple. New and never worn. 22-1/2″ wide x 75″ long. $200 includes 3-day priority USPS mailing in lower 48 states.

#2 has a beautiful drape, fine details

#3 Rayas Red and White, Chiapas back-strap loom

#3. This is a comfortable, 100% cotton blouse made on a back-strap loom from finest quality mercerized thread. It’s brand new and one-of-a-kind. The traditional design on the white stripes are added during the weaving process (not embroidered) and is called supplementary weft. Very fine and detailed needlework to embellish the neck and sleeves. We bought it at one of the best cooperatives in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, where Mayan weavers create extraordinary textiles. Machine wash on gentle or hand wash and hang to dry. No need to iron! Measures 23-1/4″ wide across the front and 26″ long from the shoulder. Size M. $110 includes priority USPS 3-day shipping to 48 states.

#3 shoulder detail with finished neck edge and sleeve cap

#4 Rayas in Red and Yellow, Chiapas

#4. This is a comfortable, 100% cotton blouse made on a back-strap loom from finest quality mercerized thread. It’s brand new and one-of-a-kind. The traditional Maya frog design on the yellow stripes are added during the weaving process (not embroidered) and is called supplementary weft. Very fine and detailed needlework to embellish the neck and sleeves. We bought it at one of the best cooperatives in San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, where Mayan weavers create extraordinary textiles. Machine wash on gentle or hand wash and hang to dry. No need to iron! Measures 23-1/4″ wide across the front and 26″ long from the shoulder. Size M. $110. Includes USPS priority 3-day shipping to lower 48 states.

#4 Rayas Red and Yellow detail

#5. Fine Cotton Gauze Huipil-Tunic, San Pedro Amusgos

#5. SOLD. Fresh and refreshing: a breathable top, simple and elegant. We visited the remote village of San Pedro Amusgos high in the mountains about eight hours from Oaxaca City. Here they weave cotton on back-strap looms just as they have for centuries. This is a beautiful, lightweight collector’s garment with a white-on-white bodice. Called supplementary weft, the design is woven into the cloth, a difficult maneuver by a master weaver. It is not embroidered! This is new and never worn. Perfect over a skirt, jeans, silk or linen slacks. Wash by hand with a mild soap and hang to dry. Measures 23-3/4″ wide x 29″ long. Size M. $200. Includes USPS priority mail shipping to lower 48 states.

#5 detail of bodice, Amusgos tunic

#6. San Juan Chamula Cape, Chiapas

#6. SOLD. Shades of Gray. This is a traditional cape or shawl, called a Chal, hand-woven in the Chiapas village of San Juan Chamula. This particular textile is one of the finest examples of back-strap loom weaving, coming from the Sna Jolobil Cooperative at the Museo Mundo Maya. The wool is hand-carded and spun using the ancient drop-spindle. This is a total made-by-hand garment. The warp threads are cotton and the weft is a soft, pliant natural gray and cream color sheep wool. The edges are strongly woven with very colorful cotton threads to accent the gray body of the garment. Tie it closed with a hand-made tassel and VOILA. Fun to wear or to use as a bed or sofa scarf. Take the tassels off and make a pillow! Measures  24″ square. $145 USD includes USPS 3-day priority mail to anywhere in the lower 48 states.

#6. Detail of San Juan Chamula cape

How to Buy!

Send me an email: norma.schafer@icloud.com

  • Tell me which piece(s) you want by number.
  • Tell me your complete name, mailing address and email.
  • I will send you a PayPal invoice.
  • As soon as I receive payment, I will confirm and we will prepare for mailing. You should be receiving your order within 5-7 days.

 

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

 

Cultural Meaning in Magdalenas Aldama: Chiapas Textile Study Tour

Magdalenas Aldama is an hour-and-a-half from San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, on a winding road deep into the mountains beyond San Juan Chamula. Its isolation is protection from the forces of modernization. The Spanish had difficulty getting there to evangelize. Traditions run deep and strong.

Rosa, center, wearing neighboring Chenalho dog paw embroidered blusa

Being remote is a double-edge sword. It guarantees lack of access to education and decent health care. It ensures sustaining traditional practices like building with wattle and daub, creating garments with the back strap loom.

Welcome to Magdalenas Aldama, where liquor is not permitted, per Zapatista custom

This is the same story for many villages tucked into the swales of eight thousand foot mountains around the city.

Close-up textile texture of supplementary weft on back strap loom

On our quest to explore the textiles of the Maya people surrounding San Cristobal de Las Casas, it is important to meet and know the people where they live and work. This is a cultural journey to appreciate artisania, to give support and to put funds directly into the hands of the makers.

Women at the Magdalenas expoventa, photo by Carol Estes

Magdalenas Aldama women weave some of the most beautiful blouses and huipiles in Chiapas. They are intricate textiles with ancient pre-Hispanic Maya symbols that have spiritual and physical meaning. It can take six to eight months to weave a traditional Gala Huipil used for special occasions.

A ceremonial Gala Huipil, cost is 3500 pesos, 8 months to make

Typical Maya symbols incorporated into the cloth — a story of life:

  • The milpa — corn fields, squash and beans
  • The sacred forest — pine trees
  • The Four Cardinal Points — sun, moon, earth and sky
  • The Toad — harbinger of the rainy season
  • The Vision Serpent  — to guide the way
  • Plus any personal designs preferred by the weaver

The making of cloth on a back strap loom, Magdalenas

During our van ride we talk about what to look for in a quality garment as we approach Magdalenas. We are sewers, embroiderers, collectors, knitters, appreciators of the creative work that women do.

  • How are the seams finished? Are the seams raw and unraveling?
  • Is the embroidery done on cloth that is made on a back strap loom or is it done on cheap commercial polyester or a poly/cotton blend?
  • Are the embroidery stitches small, tight, evenly executed?
  • Is the weaving even and are the supplementary weft threads densely packed?


First stop is to the home of Rosa and Cristobal. They were activists in the Zapatista movement, working for land reform, indigenous rights, access to services, and justice for Maya people. Twelve women in the extended family gathered in the smokey kitchen to prepare our lunch: handmade tortillas, sopa de gallina (free range chicken soup).

Mary Anne enjoys sopa de gallina chicken soup, a rich broth

Babies are tied to their backs with rebozos. Toddlers and youngsters played around their mothers’ skirts. The wood fire was pungeant, smokey, making it difficult to see or breathe.

The best corn tortillas, organic, criollo

After an expoventa in the adjacent barn, we went to the plank wood house of Don Pedro and his son Salvador, just a few blocks away to see their fine handwoven ixtle bags. Women in the family brought traditional Magdalenas huipiles and blusas, woven pocket bags, belts and embroidered skirt fabric.

Young nursing mother waits for a sale

Over breakfast this morning we share our impressions of the experience.

Don Pedro’s wife, wearing traditional huipil (blouse) and falda (skirt)

  • Lanita commented that this is a culture where back strap looms are everywhere. Women can do it a bit at a time, between caring for children, cooking, tending the kitchen garden, after chores are done.

Tortilla making by hand, a woman’s fingerprints in dough

  • Carol appreciates that joy is possible in any circumstance. We see the power of a community of women, and as women travelers, we, too, become a community of women. We made connections. There are ore things that make up the same among us that make us different. 

Children entertaining themselves. No television here.

  • Mary Anne notes that she learned more about the social justice issues of the Zapatistas. They are not a bunch of rebel revolutionaries.

Woman against adobe wall, photo by Carol Estes

  • Cath says that this trip is more than about textiles, although this is a good place to start. To be here is to look beyond the fibers, to look at the totality of life and ask, Where did this cloth come from? Who made it? What does it mean? Where is the woman who designed it?

Norma examining weaving detail, photo by Carol Estes

Textiles are a way into being part of another culture. We could dig in, experience, open up to what else it is we can see and discover. We were excited to find cooperatives where innovative design uses traditional fabric woven on the back strap loom.

Weaving is a way of life, while tending the flock and children

Most importantly, we provided direct support to women, men and families whose work we appreciate, admire and regard with respect.

Don Pedro and son Salvador weave the finest ixtle bags, photo by Carol Estes

Portrait of Patricio, who shows us the way, nephew of Tatik Samuel Ruiz

Mexico Textile Marketplace: Women’s Clothing Sale

I’m Mexico bound next Thursday, November 16, 2017, and this is the last of my collection I will offer for sale now. Stay tuned for when I return in March 2018. These are all one-of-a-kind pieces I’ve collected over the years, most of them new. I buy to support the artisans I visit and send these lovelies on to you.

Scroll down. 4 SOLD. 3 Available.

How to Purchase? Send an email to me, Norma Schafer. Tell me the piece — by number — that you want to buy. Also include your mailing address. I will send you a link to make a PayPal payment that will include the cost of mailing via USPS. If you are in Canada, it will be sent international First Class. Thank you.

Please order by Monday, November 13. That will give me time to package and get to the post office before I leave!

1. San Antonino Castillo Velasco, Oaxaca Wedding Dress, Size L-XL

1. This is a full-length Oaxaca Wedding Dress, $260 USD. Even in Oaxaca, embroidery and crochet of this quality can sell for $400 USD or more. Examine the detail of the little dolls at the neckline that serve as bodice gathers. Look at the intricacy of the crochet work and embroidery. This is a very fine piece! Fabric is a cotton-poly blend. Size Large-XL.

1. Sleeve detail, Oaxaca wedding dress.

1. Bodice detail, Oaxaca wedding dress

2. This hand embroidered floral motif dress is from the remote village San Miguel Soyaltepec — an island in the Miguel Aleman Reservoir, State of Oaxaca. I bought this piece there and never wore it. $235 USD. The stitches are teeny-weeny, dense and beautiful. Size L-XL.

2. Exquisite embroidered dress, fine stitches, Size L-XL

3. SOLD. Birds, flowers and vines are beaded onto the bodice of this beautiful China Poblana blouse from the mountains of Puebla, about 6 hours from Mexico City. The neckline and sleeves have a drawstring to loosen or tighten. The background is entirely filled with translucent clear beads. $135 USD. Size L-XL.

3. Densely beaded China Poblana blouse from Cuetzalan, Puebla State

3. Sleeve detail, Puebla China Poblana blusa

3. Bodice detail, China Poblana blouse

4. SOLD. This 100% wool shawl measures 76″ long and 20″ wide, and is hand-woven on a pedal loom in Teotitlan del Valle by Juan Carlos, an very accomplished artisan. It is dyed with pericone/wild marigold with an indigo over-dye. $125 USD.

4. Green Shawl, hand-woven with natural dyes — indigo/wild marigold

Detail, green wool shawl.

5. The blusa with Pizzaz, this beautiful soft cotton textile woven on a back-strap loom is embellished with traditional designs and some silver floss from the Maya village of Oxchuc, near San Cristobal de las Casas. $125 USD. Super fine workmanship! Can be a blouse or tunic. Size L-XL

5. Oxchuc village, Chiapas blouse, back-strap loomed with embroidered bodice

5. Oxchuc blouse bodice detail

6. SOLD. Lavender blue blouse with rainbow neckline and sleeve embroidery. $65 USD. Textile is hand-loomed and hand-embroidered, very soft and sturdy. Size L-XL.

6. Daily wear in Chiapas is a hand-loomed blouse with neck and sleeve embroidery

6. Bodice detail, Chiapas blouse

7.  SOLD. This simple blouse has an attention-grabber neckline, with little embroidered details on the shoulder and down the front. Hand-embroidered on commercial cloth. $35 USD. Size L-XL.

7. Natural cotton with embroidered bodice blouse

7. Detail of simple cotton blouse