Tag Archives: Chiapas

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.

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.

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

Preview: French Knots Embroidered Blouses from Chiapas

This is a preview of what’s to come tomorrow, when I offer 9 beautiful hand-embroidered blouses from Aguacatenango, Chiapas. Sizes small, medium and large. Most short sleeves. A few long sleeves. There are no sewing machines there. The hand-sewing on these garments is impeccable with finely finished seams.

Shop Opens, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2 PM Eastern Time Zone

Yes, all those gathers made by hand!

I met embroiderer Francisca 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!

I’ve never seen such densely embroidered French Knots

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 assembled on the patio where she gave us an embroidery demonstration and showed us an array of beautiful blouses.

Love this tone-on-tone workmanship

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 want to give her meaningful, rewarding work.

Flowers and feathers are the details

The blouses arrived yesterday. They are better than gorgeous. Today, I will steam and iron them, take measurements and photographs, and post them tomorrow.

This is your heads-up!

From San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas to Durham, NC

Collector’s Edition: Oaxaca and Chiapas Textile Sale

Today I am offering 9 treasures from my collection for sale. These are pieces I have never or rarely worn. They live in my Durham, NC, closet. Many of you know that I am now walking 8,000 to 10,000 steps at least four times a week and have maintained size small for almost two years. These beautiful clothes are now way too big for me to wear. I’ve decided it is time for these pieces to be with others who appreciate them as much as I do.

To Buy: Send me an email — norma.schafer@icloud.com with your name, address, and item number. I will send you a PayPal invoice to pay with credit card. Please be sure to use the payment optionsending to family and friends.” Once I receive your funds, I will mail via USPS to anywhere in the USA.  I will add on $12 for mailing to the invoice. Thank you VERY much.

#1 Pencil huipil with fuchsine dye, 24-3/4″ wide x 37-1/2″ long, $325

#1 is from the Oaxaca coast in Santiago Ixtlayutla, near Pinotepa de Don Luis. It uses fuchsine dye, which locals call “cochineal” but it isn’t! It actually creates a more purple stain on cotton cloth that then bleeds intentionally into the base fabric. Fine silk thread is woven as the supplementary weft creating the figures in the cotton cloth. It is the silk that takes the dye after the piece is finished. The style is to dye and fold the cloth, soaking it in water so that the dye runs into patterns that are mirrored into the surrounding cloth. Those of us who know these textiles, covet and cherish them. The finishing joinery stitches on this one are very secure and fine.

All fuchsine-dyed garments are rare and collectible!

SOLD. #2. Fine gauze cotton blusa with fuchsine dye, 30″ wide x 27″ long, $245

Notes from Traditional Innovation in Oaxaca Textiles: There is another colour that can be found in several textiles from Oaxaca: fuchsia. The costume of men and women from the Mixtec town of Santiago Ixtayutla use locally-raised silk from San Mateo Peñasco, where silk is dyed with fuchsine, a magenta dye invented in mid-19th century which chemical composition is rosaniline hydrochloride. Since these dyes arrived in Mexico during the second half of the 19th c., weavers started using them: they were quick to use and cheap to obtain.

#3. Fuchsine shawl, 24″ wide x 84″ long including fringes, $285
SOLD. #4. Gauze Blouse from Venustiano Carranza, Chiapas, $145

SOLD. #4 is from the warm, humid coastal region of Venustiano Carranza, Chiapas, where lightweight hand-woven textiles are preferred. This is fine cotton woven on a back-strap loom. The colorful figures uses synthetically-dyed cotton in the supplementary weft. Measures 25″ wide x 25-1/2 long — size L-XL.

SOLD. #5. Olive and Rust Poncho, Chiapas, $165, one size

SOLD. #5 is woven on a back-strap loom in a Chiapas village of medium-weight cotton, hand-tied fringes. The design is incorporated in the weaving using the supplementary weft technique. It is not embroidered!

SOLD. #5, Poncho detail.
SOLD. #6. B&W Poncho, Oxchuc, Chiapas, $185, one-size

SOLD. #6 is a medium-weight cotton poncho with hot red needle work down the front to join the two pieces of cloth together. This is an unusual piece because of the texture of two different weaving styles used in the cloth (it does not have a seam). The front of the piece is shorter, hanging hip length and the back hangs longer to cover the rear!

SOLD. #6. B&W poncho detail.
SOLD. #7. Simply Beautiful Alderwood Dyed Poncho, $295, one size

SOLD. #7 was purchased from Remigio Mestas’ Oaxaca city shop Los Baules de Juana Cata. He is cited as a top authority on Oaxaca textiles, and offers only the finest woven and naturally dyed fabrics for sale, created by the best weavers. The dye is called Palo de Aguila, which translates to Alderwood, and is found in the Sierra Mixe of Oaxaca.

SOLD. #7 Alderwood-dyed poncho detail.
SOLD. #8 Indigo + Purple Snail Dye Oaxaca Blusa, 26-1/2″wide x 28-1/2″long, $285

SOLD. #8 is from the back-strap loom weaving village of Pinotepa de Don Luis. There is a very fine young weaver there named Sebastiana Guzman Hernandez. She was educated and worked as an engineer but preferred to weave and rescue her family’s indigenous traditions. I purchased this huipil from her workshop studio in the village. She dyes the indigo and buys the caracol purpura threads from the few local dyers who collect the rare purple snail dye from the Oaxaca coast.

SOLD. #9. Embroidered blouse, Chiapas, 21″ wide x 29″ long, $95

SOLD. #9 is a slinky blouse, machine embroidery on polyester, with see-through eyelet detail from Zinacantan, Chiapas. It is not hemmed because traditional women will tuck this inside their wrap-around skirts.

#9 Eyelet and embroidery detail.