SHOP OPEN: French Knot Embroidered Blouses from Chiapas

We just received 14 French Knot embroidered cotton blouses from Aguacatenango, Chiapas. The village is about an hour-and-a-half from San Cristobal and is in a fertile valley nestled between the chilly high mountain ranges and the more humid coastal area of Chiapas. Here, women are skilled in the art of needlework and the most skilled among them, like our master embroiderer Francisca, create extraordinary bodice designs of floral motifs. The base cloth is an open-weave Mexican machine-made manta which is 100% cotton muslin fabric. It washes beautifully — cold water, mild soap.

Large Sizes — 6 pieces — $135 each

  • #L1. Short sleeve beige SOLD.
  • #L2. Short sleeve beige SOLD.
  • #L3. Short sleeve red SOLD.
  • #L4. Short sleeve red SOLD.
  • #L5. Short sleeve peacock blue SOLD.

Medium Sizes — 8 pieces — $125 each

  • #M1. Short sleeve beige SOLD.
  • #M2. Short sleeve beige
  • #M3. Short sleeve beige
  • #M4. Short sleeve blue SOLD.
  • #M5. Long sleeve blue SOLD.
  • #M6. Long sleeve blue SOLD.
  • #M7. Long sleeve red
  • #M8. Short sleeve red SOLD.

Small/Petite — 1 Piece — $110 each

  • #S1. Long sleeve beige — 10″ wide bodice

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. For PayPal: Please DO NOT SELECT BUYING GOOD OR SERVICES. It will then automatically choose Sending 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. (If PayPal takes a commission, I will need to send you an additional invoice to cover what they deduct.)

See chart below for measurements. Please measure bodice width from top of rib cage across to start of armpit on either side. Most are 28″ long from shoulder to hem.

  • 53cm = 20 inches
  • 56cm = 22 inches
  • 31cm = 12 inches
  • 36cm = 14 inches
Diagram for illustrative purposes only
Blouse is constructed/sewn entirely by hand; extraordinary finish work.

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. For PayPal: Please DO NOT SELECT BUYING GOOD OR SERVICES. It will then automatically choose Sending 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. (If PayPal takes a commission, I will need to send you an additional invoice to cover what they deduct.)

Final Sale: There are no returns, exchanges or refunds. Please measure carefully. We have already sent funds to the artisan for her and her cooperative’s work. Thank you for understanding.

Let me know if you have any questions. Thank you, Norma norma.schafer@icloud.com

An Aside from Norma

Because of covid-19, I have been in the USA since March 12. This is the longest period of time I have remained here since 2011. Based on increased number of cases in Oaxaca and limited covid emergency medical care there, I’m thinking it is prudent to stay put in North Carolina until there is a vaccine. Vamos a ver. We shall see.

In this interim, I feel it is most useful for me to work with the artisan women and men I know to bring what they make here to the USA and Canada to offer their pieces for sale. This is about the only way I know how to best help now during these extenuating circumstances. As long as I stay here, I will continue to do this. If I were in Oaxaca now, it would be prohibitively expensive to mail one or two pieces directly to individuals in the USA. This way, I can receive artisan-made textiles and offer them to you at a reasonable cost until we can all meet together again in Mexico and visit these makers personally. Thank you for all you do to support this effort.

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Vote.

Coming Today: French Knot Blouses From Chiapas

Our shop will open at 1 PM Eastern Time today! Don’t miss it! Limited sizes in long and short sleeve.

Shop Open: Handwoven Rugs–All Natural Dyes

Today, we are showcasing the natural dye and weaving talent of Oaxaca’s Taller Teñido a Mano. There are seven (7) unique, one-off pieces that will add richness to any living environment — home and office, floor and wall. Use it as a sofa, chair or bench accent piece, too. These are textiles woven on the tapestry loom — both sides are exactly the same! Great care is taken to create the hand-spun yarns and give them vibrant, enduring color. A perfect holiday gift as well.

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. For PayPal: Please DO NOT SELECT BUYING GOOD OR SERVICES. It will then automatically choose Sending 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. (If PayPal takes a commission, I will need to send you an additional invoice to cover what they deduct.)

SOLD. #1 Rayas. 2’x3′ $295

#1. Rayas. Churro sheep wool dyed with blue indigo, red cochineal with the natural gray color of the sheep. This is a stunning graphic design made on the tapestry loom. Same design on both sides. 2 feet wide x 3 feet long.

SOLD. #2. Zapotec. 2’x3′ $295

#2. Zapotec. Variegated graphic design elements with indigo, cochineal and natural gray sheep wool. 2 feet wide x 3 feet long.

SOLD. #3. Cintas. 2’x3′ $265

#3. Cintas. Natural dyes from indigo, pecan leaves and shells, natural white and gray wool. 2 feet wide x 3 feet long.

SOLD. #4. Grecas. 23″ square. $195

#4. Grecas. Natural dyes from indigo, cochineal, pomegranate and pecan shells. 23″ square.

SOLD. #5. Diamante. 23″ x 24″ $195

#5. Diamante. Natural dyes from indigo, pomegranate, cochineal, pecan shells, natural white and gray Churro sheep wool. 23″ wide x 24″ long.

SOLD. #6. Tlacolula Valley Mountains. 23″x24″ $250

#6. Tlacolula Valley Mountains. A visual landscape perfect for a wall-hanging, pillow cover or floor mat. The weaver’s impression of the Sierra Madre del Sur mountains surrounding Oaxaca. Natural dyes from indigo, pomegranate, natural white and gray wool. 23″ wide x 24″ long.

SOLD. #7. Cintas Azules. 23″x25″ $175

#7. Cintas Azules. Perfect stripes from natural dyes of indigo, cochineal and natural un-dyed white wool. The striking contrast of blues with gray and the red accent gives pizzaz to any decor. 23″ wide x 25″ long.

#8 Oaxaca Blue Basket — Indigo-dyed and hand-woven, is also for sale. $95.

The Taller Teñido a Mano dye studio uses only dyes from natural plant materials and cochineal, the insect that is found on the prickly pear cactus. Carminic acid is created through a chemical exchange between insect and plant, making the perfect red. The studio can produce over 110 different shades of red based on formulas perfected over time. Elsa Sanchez is the dye master. Her husband, Eric Chavez, (my godson) is the weaver. Eric has been weaving for over 20 years and has an extraordinary talent for color and design innovation.

This will be the last rug sale until early December.

Please email me normahawthorne@mac.com with your name, mailing address and item number. Please don’t send money until I confirm that what you want is available. I will mark it SOLD, send you a PayPal link to purchase and add $12 for cost of mailing. For PayPal: Please DO NOT SELECT BUYING GOOD OR SERVICES.  (If PayPal takes a commission, I will need to send you an additional invoice to cover what they deduct.) We also accept Venmo (@Norma-Schafer) and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal. Thank you for understanding.

Care Instructions: I wash all my personal handmade rugs from the Chavez family in the washing machine, on gentle/delicate setting, using cold water and a mild soap (not Woolite–it bleeds the color). Make sure your spin cycle is set to HIGH. I then hang to dry. I do not use an automatic dryer since this breaks down the wool fibers.

Coming This Week: Woven Rugs + French Knot Blouses

First, I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported the artisans whose work I have featured here. The dollars I have sent back to them in Oaxaca and Chiapas have helped sustain families through this health crisis — Covid-19 — when there is no tourism.

I also want to add that there is a benefit to my being here in Durham, NC, right now — shipping cost is bundled and covers sending multiple pieces from Mexico to the USA, making these pieces much more affordable. Usually, it is $60-80 USD to send one piece from Oaxaca to the states or Canada. So, while I am here, I will continue to work with cooperatives to bring their work to you. I would not be able to do this were I in Oaxaca!

Tomorrow, October 19, I will feature five (5) rugs from the Taller Teñido a Mano workshop in Oaxaca.

Shop will open Monday, October 19, 1 PM Eastern Time

Elsa Sanchez, proprietor of Taller Tenido a Mano, dyes the wool yarn with natural plant materials and cochineal. Colors include cochineal, indigo, wild marigold, wood barks and nuts. These sturdy rugs are woven by my godson and Elsa’s husband, Eric Chavez. Cost will range from $195 to $295 plus mailing.

Here is one rug example:

2-1/2 ft. by 3 ft. — 100% wool, handwoven. Machine wash gentle. Hang to dry.

At the end of the week, I will offer handmade blouses from Aguacatenango, Chiapas, by Francisca. She works in embroidery using exquisite French knots. The bodice is so dense with embroidery you cannot see the base fabric, which is 100% cotton manta. This time, we will have more long sleeve pieces and more that are sized Large and Extra-Large. They will sell for $120 plus mailing.

Here is an example:

Machine wash gentle, cold water. Use mild soap. Hang to dry.

Wrap Yourself in the Warmth of Mexico!

Dreaming of returning to Mexico or a winter away from cold, ice and snow? It may not happen for many of us this year. The next best thing, I think, is to wrap yourself in the warmth of Mexico. It’s mid-October and not too soon to think about how to stay comfy, cozy and dreaming of traveling again. I’m offering a selection from my personal collection, new and never worn.

Many of these 23 pieces are soft, comfortable wool. Some are heavier cotton pieces. 99% are woven on the back-strap loom. I purchased these directly from weavers, all who needed support at the time. They are from my travels throughout Oaxaca and Chiapas. A piece or two are from more distant places in Mexico. All are unique, one-of-a-kind and priced to sell quickly.

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. Pom Pom Cape. San Juan Chamula, Chiapas. Wool. 20″ long. 26″ wide. $65
#2 Poncho. Oxchuc, Chiapas. Cotton. 32×30. $95

97% of these items are made on the back-strap loom by women in small, indigenous villages throughout Mexico.

SOLD. #3. Quechquemitl. Chiapas. Cotton/polyester. Glittery. 36×32. $55
SOLD. #4. Quechquemitl. Chiapas. Wool. 36×30. New lower price $25 (not $45)
SOLD. #5. Throw/shawl. Chiapas. Wool. 25×52. $95
#5 Detail
SOLD. #6. Winter White Wool Throw/Shawl. Chiapas. 26×60. $85
SOLD. #7. Fun Chiapas Shawl/Throw. Wool, poly. 21×60. $85

Return Policy: We support artisans. There are no returns or refunds. This is a final sale.

#8 Tenancingo Ikat Rebozo/Shawl. Cotton. 29×72. $145

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. #9. Jolom Mayatik Cooperative, Chiapas. Cotton. 27×86. $65
SOLD. #10. Indigo Rebozo by Roman Gutierrez, Teotitlan del Valle. Cotton. 22×78. $145
SOLD. #11. Jolom Mayatik Chiapas. Cotton. Throw/Scarf/Table Cover. 28×76. New lower price $60 (not $75)
#11 Detail.

Return Policy: We support artisans. There are no returns or refunds. This is a final sale.

SOLD. #12. Tenejapa, Chiapas, Rare Huipil. Wool + Cotton. 30×30. $395

Let’s talk about #12. Tenejapa is a Chiapas village on a mountain road about an hour-and-a-half from San Cristobal de las Casas. This is a traditional huipil that is rarely seen now — a collector’s piece, for sure. The design, executed in naturally dyed wool from local plant materials, is unique to this village and woven on a back-strap loom. It is from the cooperative of Maria Meza Giron. It is under-valued!

SOLD. #13. San Juan Chamula, Chiapas. Wool. Shawl/throw. 38×56. New lower price, $45 (not $65)
SOLD. #14. Quechquemitl/poncho. Chiapas. Wool. Indigo stitches. 26×28. New lower price. $25 (not $45)
#15. Cotton infinity scarf/cowl. New, lower price, $65. (Not $95)

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. #16. Chiapas bag. Wild Marigold dyes. Wool, cotton lined. 10-1/2×14. $25
SOLD. #17. Wool Chiapas bag. Indigo. Cotton lined. 10-1/2×14. $25
SOLD. #18. San Andres Larrainzar, Chiapas Gala Huipil. 32×34. $495

About #18 — San Andres Larrainzar Huipil. The gala huipil takes up to a year to weave and is worn only during fiestas and special occasions. This one is extraordinary. The designs are achieved on the back-strap loom. This is not embroidered but densely woven — called bordado. A perfect winter garment to add color and cheer — accessorize over leggings and a silk T-shirt.

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.

#19. San Felipe Usila Huipil. Cotton. 27×41. $395

#19. I bought this piece in the pueblo from one of the finest weavers there. It is a traditional Chinantla region pattern that features the double-headed eagle, symbol of life-giving force. It is a six-panel piece with beautiful joinery using a needle-stitch that sews the wefts of cloth together. The finish work is amazing. Very graphic. This town is 12 hours from Oaxaca city and accessible by winding dirt road.

SOLD. #20. Oxchuc, Chiapas. Cotton. 36×27. $75

Return Policy: We support artisans. There are no returns or refunds. This is a final sale.

SOLD. #21. Amantenango, Chiapas. Embroidered blouse. Polyester/cotton. 29×27. $45
#22. Pinotepa de Don Luis, Oaxaca. Natural dyes. 28×48. $295
#23. San Pedro Amusgo, Oaxaca. Indigo, coyuchi. 26×28, $295

About #23. I bought this during one of our trips to the Oaxaca coast to support Arte de Amusgo cooperative founded by Odilon Merino Morales who is a featured artist at the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market. It is new and never worn.

Thank you for all your support and consideration!