Tag Archives: blusas

Back to Textiles: Amusgo Weaving, Xochistlahuaca, Guerrero

So-Chees-Lah-Hwa-Kah. I spell it out in transliteration so you can say it more easily. Short hand is So-Chee!

I took the last two weeks off from writing and blogging to take a road trip to the Midwest where I visited friends in South Bend, Indiana, and Columbus, Ohio. It was a welcome diversion from routine. While on the road, I was in touch with Yecenia (Yesi) Lopez after contacting her earlier about selecting some of her Tejadoras de Llanura de las Flores Cooperative’s beautiful textiles for us to see and purchase. I made the order from South Bend and when I returned to Durham yesterday, the box was there waiting for me at the front door.

Sale Starts: Saturday, October 3, 2020, 1:00 p.m. Eastern

Preview of Xochistlahuaca textiles

About Amusgos Textiles

There are 17 garments total. Some are natural dyes. Some are native green, white and coyuchi (honey colored) cotton grown in the village on small farm plots. There is one scarf. Most are blusas and there are a few long huipiles. 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.

The Amusgo people are an indigenous group with their own distinct language who live north and south along the Oaxaca-Guerrero border. The closest town to Xochistlahuaca, Guerrero is Ometepec. It is more than five hours north of Puerto Escondido and is considered part of the Costa Chica region that extends to just south of Acapulco.

This is a traditional gala Xochistlahuaca huipil
Maximina picks native green cotton from her fields

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 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 are 25 women who continue to weave, fighting for life, defending 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 into your home and heart. 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.

Mark your calendar for Saturday, October 3 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time for our shop to open here at https://oaxacaculture.com

Shop Open: French Knots Embroidered Blouses from Chiapas

Thank you everyone who supported Francisca. I’m putting in another order soon. We have ONE blouse left — this one:

Last One: Size XS/S — 10″ across bodice, 22″ armpit to armpit, 18″ sleeves. $120

Here is a selection of 8 beautiful hand-embroidered blouses from Aguacatenango, Chiapas. The village is about an hour-and-a-half from San Cristobal de Las Casas. It is situated in a fertile valley where farmers grow corn and women embroider. All the women embroider! The climate is hotter and more humid than in the highlands, so the clothing is lighter weight.

SOLD. #7 Red, Size M, A-12″ B-26″ C-28″ — $120
How to Measure for Fit — measurements in inches
#8 and #9 (TWO for sale), Size XS/S, A-10″ B-21″ C-24″ Sleeve 18″ — $120

There are no sewing machines there. The hand-sewing on these particular today garments is impeccable with finely finished seams. For me, it is important to look at workmanship from the inside out! That means examining the seams for the finish work to make certain there are no rough edges that will unravel after a few washings!

SOLD. #6 Dark Blue, Size M/L, A-12.5″ B-26″ C-27″ — $120
SOLD. #5 Beige, Size L, A-13.5″ B-27.5″ C-27.5″ — $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!

#3 Baby Blue, Size L, A-13.5″ B-26″ C-27″ — $120
#2 Khaki Green, Size M, A-12″ B-26″ C-27.5″ — $120

Our featured artisan today is Francisca. I met her some years ago when I brought our Chiapas textile tour to the village. Our group exited the van and gathered at the big tree in the church courtyard. Within minutes we were surrounded by twenty women offering us embroidered blouses for sale. Francisca’s were far and away the best!

SOLD. #1, Black, Size M, A-12″ B-26″ C-27.5″ — $95
(slight discoloration at bodice tucks from washing)

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!

She invited us to her home, a one-room, concrete block cabin outfitted with table, chairs, two beds, and bags of dried corn in storage. We regrouped on the patio where she gave us an embroidery demonstration and showed us her beautiful blouses. We were blown away by the French knots!

How to Measure for Fit — measurements in inches

A few weeks ago, I contacted Francisca and asked if she could make and send some blouses. This is a custom order, so I specified that I wanted solid-color bodices, all French Knots on 100% cotton cloth we call manta. So many in Mexico are struggling now, and I knew she and her family were no exception. I wanted to give her meaningful, rewarding work.

All hand finished — without a sewing machine

Care Instructions: To wash, turn inside out. Wash by hand or in machine using a delicate setting, in cold water with a mild soap like Fels Naptha. Do not use Woolite. Hang to dry. Press with a steam iron on medium heat.

Pretty amazing workmanship