Monthly Archives: December 2020

Support for Chiapas Embroidery Cooperative: Shop Open

Aguacatenango is a Chiapas Maya village about an hour-and-a-half from San Cristobal de Las Casas. The altitude is lower and temperatures warmer. The women there embroider exquisite natural cotton blouses, and we found the best of the best. Her name is Francisca, and along with her family members, she creates completely made-by-hand blouses — there are no sewing machines!

For photos and village story, Click Here!

Usually, we bring Chiapas Textile Tour travelers to Aguacatenango to meet Francisca, but not this year! As covid-19 rages unchecked in Mexico and the USA, you know we have cancelled all our programs until late 2021. Artisan villages throughout Mexico are hard hit economically. There is no tourism to help sustain even the most talented. That’s why I contacted Francisca a few months ago to see how we could help by bringing this workmanship to us.

This time, I asked for larger sizes and specified the dimensions, along with the color-ways. This is a custom order that you will not find anywhere else!

12 pieces are available for sale. Limited selection.

  • Size XL — Bodice is 15″ wide, sleeve is 23″ long, blouse is 24″ long from shoulder to hem — 4 pieces
  • Size L — Bodice is 14″ wide, sleeve is 22″ long, blouse is 24″ long from shoulder to hem — 4 pieces
  • Size M — Bodice is 12″ wide, blouse is 24″ long from shoulder to hem — 3 pieces
  • Size S — Bodice is 10″ wide, sleeve is 21″ long, blouse is 22″ long from shoulder to hem — 1 piece

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 DO NOT SELECT buying goods or services–so we don’t pay commissions. We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

Extra-Large Selection–4 available — 15″ wide bodice (A):

  • SOLD. 1. Blue, long sleeve XL, $140
  • SOLD. 2. Blue, long sleeve XL, $140
  • SOLD. 3. Red, long sleeve XL, $140
  • SOLD. 4. Red, long sleeve, XL, $140

Large Selection–4 available — 14″ wide bodice (A):

  • SOLD. 5. Large, Red, $120
  • SOLD. 6. Large Blue, $120
  • 7. Large Blue, $120
  • 8. Large Blue, $120

Size Medium Selection–3 available — 12″ wide bodice (A):

  • 9. Beige, short sleeve Medium, $120
  • 10. Beige, short sleeve, Medium, $120
  • 11. Beige, short sleeve, Medium, $120

Size Small Selection–1 available — 10″ wide bodice (A):

  • 12. Beige long sleeve, Small, $120

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 steam heat to iron if needed.

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 DO NOT SELECT buying goods or services — so we don’t pay commissions. We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

Pssst. Embroidered French Knot Blouses Are Back

I’ll be putting them up here for sale on Friday, December 11, at 1 PM Eastern Time. This time, I have mostly large and extra-large sizes, and 90% of them are long-sleeve. The French knots are densely embroidered on the bodice with accent touches on the sleeve cuffs.

Color choices are peacock blue and red in the large sizes. I also have a few mediums in short sleeves, beige color, and one size small.

Prices are $120 for small, medium and large, and $140 for the extra large. Mailing is $12.

  • Small measures 10″ across the bodice — 1 available, beige, long-sleeve
  • Medium measures 12″ across the bodice — 3 available, beige, short-sleeve
  • Large measures 13-1/2″ across the bodice –6 available
  • Extra-large measures 14-1/2″ across the bodice — 3 available

Sorry, I’m not able to do pre-sales. Shop opens here on Friday, December 11.

Our embroiderer is Francisca from Aguacatenango, Chiapas. A few years ago, we met her in the village courtyard under the big oak tree, along with about 30 other embroiderers who live there. We could tell her work was far and away among the best! Our group traipsed down the road to her house for a demonstration and sale. Now, during the pandemic there are no tourists, so I contacted her to see if should would make a custom order.

I specified sizes made for our body shapes and sizes — most of us are not the petite stature of Maya women of Chiapas! So, you won’t find these anywhere else but here. Sale is first-come, first-serve. Set your alarm and don’t miss it.

Francisca demonstrates embroidery techniques

Give Meaning: Las Sanjuaneras Textiles from Oaxaca–Handmade, Heartfelt

A handmade, hand-woven textile from Oaxaca is a meaningful gift this year when so few tourists are there to support artisans. Instead of taking you into remote villages to meet the makers this year, I am bringing what they make to the USA to offer them to you. Please support them.

Today’s Sale Features Las Sanjuaneras Cooperative

Read about the Las Sanjuaneras Cooperative here!

We can collectively help alleviate the economic ravages of Covid-19 this way. Please consider helping the women who make these beautiful garments by making a purchase either for yourself or for a loved one. These are one-of-a-kind treasures.

SOLD. #2. Brisaida. Indigo, almond bark. 31×52″ $525

Made-by-hand means:

  1. Growing the organic, native cotton in small mountain plots.
  2. Cleaning, carding and then spinning the cotton with the drop spindle (malacate).
  3. Picking locally sourced plant materials for natural dyes; buying cochineal and indigo from specialty farmers.
  4. Making the dye baths and dyeing the threads.
  5. Dressing the back-strap loom.
  6. Weaving the threads on the ancient back-strap loom.
  7. Hand-sewing the wefts of cloth together with intricate stitches to make a garment.
  8. Washing and pressing the finished textile.
  9. Packing it up and mailing it to us to prepare for you.

Measurements: First number is width. Second number is length. Width is measure across the front, side seam to side seam.

#12. Brisaida. 30×21″ $320

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! DO NOT SELECT buying goods or services–so we don’t pay commissions. We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

SOLD. #5. Camerina. Indigo + ferrous oxide. 27×21″ $295.
SOLD #4. Camerina. Indigo. Medium weight. 29×33″ $320

Where is Las Sanjuaneras Cooperative located? At the end of a winding mountain road up from MEX 200 on the coast at Pinotepa Nacional is the weaving village of San Juan Colorado. It’s about four hours from Puerto Escondido and is part of our Oaxaca Coast Textile Tour 2022 (next year). Meanwhile, we can support this talented group while we wait until it is safe to travel again!

SOLD. #9. Josefina. 36×24″ Medium weight. $350
SOLD. #3. Andrea. Indigo + Native Cotton Gauze. 33×42″ $445.

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 steam heat to iron if needed.

#11. Claudia. Marigold, medium weight. 35×40″ $425.
#10. Claudia. Iron oxide, mahogany. Medium weight. 36×37″ $425
SOLD. #7. Andrea. Indigo, mahogany gauze. 34×27″ $340

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

SOLD. #14 Finely woven, iron oxide. 34×39″ $325
#15. Iron oxide + indigo. 30×34″ $285
Picking native green cotton in San Juan Colorado
#8. Camerina. 31×21-1/2″ Brazilwood, nanche. $295

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! — DO NOT SELECT buying goods or services — so we don’t pay commissions. We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

SOLD. #19. Andrea. Marigold, chocolatillo. 35-1/2×24″. $295.
#16. Aurora. Beet, mahogany, nanche, almond, iron oxide. 38×22″ $325.
SOLD. #17 Margarita. Marigold, iron oxide, beet, brazilwood. 22-3/4×35″ $185.
SOLD. #18. Aurora. 19×28″. Nanche, mahogany, almond, beet. $195.

Meaningful Gifts That Support Oaxaca Artisans

This is a preview of what will be our last sale before the holidays. If you love Oaxaca and are keeping track of Covid-19 there, you know that the CDC has urged us to NOT travel there. All the social media groups I belong to warn of the same: Covid-19 is raging, hospitals are full and it is dangerous to go. In the absence of tourism, artisans are struggling. You can help by making a purchase here to directly support them.

Assortment of Las Sanjuaneras blusas and huipiles–15 pieces total

I have just received a small shipment of textiles from Las Sanjuaneras Cooperative in the remote coastal village of San Juan Colorado. These pieces will go up for sale on Sunday. Shop will open at 1 PM Eastern Time on Sunday, December 6, 2020.

Maria and her niece, Aguacatenango, Chiapas

I am also expecting a limited shipment of embroidered French knot blouses from Chiapas later next week. Most will be in large and extra-large sizes.

French knots galore–embroidery from Chiapas

Also coming from Oaxaca are a few hand-woven naturally dyed tapestry rugs from Taller Teñido a Mano, along with lengths of naturally-dyed cotton that we will sell as yardage for sewists.

Indigo-dyed wool rug, Teotitlan del Valle

I work directly with the artisans so they get full value for their work. You can be assured that as soon as you buy, I send funds directly to them via Western Union that they can pick up as cash. I also use Remitly that deposits into bank accounts, if they have one.

Indigo-dyed cotton, 12-1/2″x22″ by Taller Teñido a Mano

You get something beautiful to wear or to gift. The artisan has an income to buy the necessities of life at this moment!

Cochineal dyed cotton, 12×22, Taller Teñido a Mano