Francisca’s French Knot Blouses + Rosario’s Embroidered Shoulder Bags: Holiday Shopping

Just in time for the holidays! Colorful hand-embroidered blouses and shoulder bags from Mexico, yours to gift or for festive wearing during the next few weeks and beyond.

Francisca is an expert in embroidered blouses using the French Knot technique. She lives in Aguacatenango, a small Chiapas village about an hour-and-a-half from San Cristobal de las Casas. I met her in the plaza some years back during one of our Chiapas textile study tours (there is one space open in the March 8-16, 2022 tour). Her work was far and away the best quality of all the women there, with dense embroidery, all hand-finished seams (no machine stitching in this garment), and 100% Mexican cotton cloth called manta. During Covid, when there were no tourists (and there aren’t that many now, either), I began to order blouses from her to help the family earn income. She sent me this group of all LONG SLEEVE blouses to Oaxaca and I brought them back in my luggage.

The blouses are perfect for winter in southern climates. In the colder north, layer a white HeatTec t-shirt underneath for warmth.

Rosario is a friend from Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca. I asked her to start making these colorful embroidered shoulder bags last year, also during covid. Her family lives in a humble, concrete block house ringed by a dirt patio. In the traditional way, she cooks outside on the comal — making tortillas, tamales, beans and squash — the staples of campesinos throughout Mexico. The bags are lined, have an interior pocket and zippered closure. They are fun to wear daily or make a delightful, whimsical addition to any festive occasion.

Ethical sourcing and fair trade. I pay both these women outright for what I order at the price they ask. No bargaining! No questions asked. The money goes in their pockets immediately and we can all feel better that we are supporting women and Mexican artisan craft. Francisca told me she can only make two blouses a month! It takes Rosario a month to embroider the pieces to make eight bags. They are embroidered front and back.

How to buymailto:norma.schafer@icloud.com Tell me the item you want by number. Send me your mailing address. I will send you a PayPal invoice after you ID your choices. The invoice will include the cost of the garment + $12 mailing. If you want more than one piece, I’m happy to combine mailing. I’ll be mailing from Taos, NM. Next day mailing guarantee if you order and buy before December 10. On December 11, I’m in transit to return to Oaxaca.

Blouse details:

Size Medium/Large has an embroidered bodice that is 14” wide. Sleeve is 21” long from shoulder to cuff. (Longer sleeves this time!) 27” wide armpit to armpit. 28-1/2” long from shoulder to hem. $125 each.

Size Large/Extra Large has an embroidered bodice that is 16” wide. Sleeve is 21” long from shoulder to cuff. 29” wide armpit to armpit. 28-1/2” long from shoulder to hem. $135 each.

Care Instructions: Wash in cold water on delicate cycle in washing machine using a mild soap like Fels Naptha or baby shampoo. Do not use Woolite. Hang to dry. Use medium-hot iron to press. Or, dry clean.

SOLD. 1A. Black. Size L-XL. $135
SOLD. 1. Blue, size M-L. $125

#2. Blue, size L-XL.$135

Shown with Rosario’s shoulder bag.

#3 Purple, size M-L. $125

SOLD. 4 Purple, size L-XL. $135

#5 Purple, size L-XL. $135

SOLD. #6. Red. Size M-L. $125

SOLD. 7. Red. Size L-XL. $135

Bag Details:

Each bag is about 10” wide x 9” high and has a 44” strap that easily works as a cross-body bag.

#8. $50
#9. $50

#10. $35

#11. $50
#12. $35
#13. $50
#15. $50
#16. $50.
17. $50

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