Tag Archives: cotton

Trunk Show: Chiapas French Knot Blouses

I just received another group of 14 French knot embroidered blouses from Francisca in Aguacatenango, Chiapas. The needlework is extraordinary! Francisca is one of the finest blouse makers in this tiny village of blouse makers. The finish work is amazing. All the seams and hems are done by hand. There is no machine stitching used on this 100% cotton garment! The bodice and short sleeve version are filled with smocking.

Recently, Francisca’s husband Antonio left Chiapas to migrate to High Point, North Carolina, to find work. He is bussing and washing dishes in a Chinese restaurant. It is decent pay and he is sending money home to clear up some debts that accumulated during Covid. The men in small Mexican villages are underemployed or have no work there. Mostly, they are subsistence farmers who do not sell to each other because they all grow the same crops. It’s the women’s work that often sustains the family, and with a drop in tourism, income has declined dramatically. I continue to help them by buying outright and offering these beautiful blouses to you for sale.

This group has eight (8) garments that are size Large and six (6) garments that are size Medium. Most are short sleeve for easy summer wearing. They are made out of breathable Mexican manta, a natural cotton that softens when washed. Care: machine wash in cold water on gentle using a mild soap (like Fels Naptha or Zote), hang to dry, press if desired.

Each blouse is $120 plus $12 mailing via USPS Priority Mail.

To Buy: Please email me at norma.schafer@icloud.com with your name, mailing address, item number and preferred payment method. I will mark it SOLD, send you an invoice to purchase and add $12 for cost of mailing. Choose if you want to buy using PayPal. Venmo or Zelle. I can also send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use these payment methods. All sales final.

Special orders accepted for XL and XXL @ $150.00 each. 50% deposit required. Takes 45-60 days to make. Please contact me if you are interested. Choose red, royal blue, deep purple, lavender, light blue, lime or forest green, yellow, orange, beige. Available in long or short sleeve. norma.schafer@icloud.com

In red, I have 3 size large with short sleeves, and 3 size medium with short sleeves. Order by number. I will mark each one sold until they are gone!

  • SOLD. #1 Red Size Large. Short Sleeves. 14″ wide embroidered bodice.
  • #2 Red Size Large. Short Sleeves. 14″ wide embroidered bodice.
  • #3 Red Size Large. Short Sleeves. 14″ wide embroidered bodice.
  • SOLD. #4 Red Size Medium. Short Sleeves. 12″ wide embroidered bodice.
  • #5 Red Size Medium. Short Sleeves. 12″ wide embroidered bodice.
  • #6 Red Size Medium. Short Sleeves. 12″ wide embroidered bodice.

In blue, I have 4 pieces that are size Large and 2 pieces that are size Medium.

  • SOLD. #7 Blue Size L. Short Sleeves. 14″ wide embroidered bodice with round neck no tie.
  • SOLD. #8 Blue Size L. Short Sleeves. 14″ wide embroidered bodice with round neck no tie.
  • #9 Blue Size L. Short Sleeves. 14″ wide embroidered bodice with round neck no tie.
  • #10 Blue Size L. Short Sleeves. 14″ wide embroidered bodice with tie neck.
  • #11 Blue Size M. Short Sleeves. 12″ wide embroidered bodice with round neck no tie.
  • #12 Blue Size M. Short Sleeves. 12″ wide embroidered bodice with round neck no tie.
  • #13. Spring Green Size M. Short Sleeves. 12″ wide embroidered bodice. One piece.
  • SOLD. #14 Spring Green Size Large. Long Sleeve. 14″ wide embroidered bodice. One piece.

Thank you for browsing and your consideration to support our worthy artisan.

Fun, Cool Cotton Summer Blouses from Oaxaca

I asked Rosario, my friend from Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, to work with me on creating hand-embroidered blouses on machine-washable cotton — perfect for summer wearing. She said YES. They just arrived and are ready for purchase. The embroidery floss is cotton, too. These are whimsical floral designs. Each piece is very different. You can wash them on gentle and hang to dry, then give them a light pressing only if desired.

Blouses measure 25″ wide by 24-1/2″ long (more or less). They will fit most size Medium to Large. Take your measurements across the widest part of your torso to be sure. Even if you are size small, you could wear this as a very loose top that drapes beautifully. Good for casual wear with jeans or hiking pants, over a swimsuit at the pool or beach, or with a skirt. Take your pick!

In addition to the embroidered flowers, the cloth is sewn together with a randa. This is beautiful needlework that is almost like needle lace, intricate and stunning. You can see this detail in one of the photos below.

Blouses are $58. USD each.

To Buy: Please email me at norma.schafer@icloud.com with your name, mailing address and item number. I will mark it SOLD, send you an invoice to purchase and add $12 for cost of mailing. Let me know if you want to buy using PayPal. Venmo or Zelle. I can also send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use these payment methods. All sales final.

Rosario is a talented seamstress and embroiderer. She has very little work these days and I ask her to make these blouses and the shoulder bags I have offered before to keep her employed. She and her family live very simply in a humble home. Thank you for considering this purchase.

Norma

Let’s Go Shopping: Eleven Mexican Shawls, Scarves, Rebozos for Sale

Rebozos are part of Mexican female identity and culture. Frida wore them. So did the women of the Mexican Revolution, 1910-1920. Aristocrats from Spain loved their shoulder coverings as they strolled the Alameda. Indigenous women still rely on them to swaddle and carry infants. Women in El Norte (USA and Canada) find them comforting on a chilly fall evening or to adorn a favorite outfit.

These rebozos I am offering for sale today are part of my collection. They are new and never worn. Most are from Tenancingo de Degollado, Estado de Mexico, where the men weave ikat cotton and women hand-knot elaborate fringes. I have one piece from Zinacantan, Chiapas, two from Santa Maria del Rio, San Luis Potosi, and one from Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca.

How to Buy: Send me an email and identify which one you want by NUMBER, plus your mailing address. I will then send you a PayPal invoice that will include mailing costs.  I will mail on the next business day.

Style 1: Zinacantan Chal, machine embroidered on back strap loomed cloth, 45″ x 20-1/2″, with handmade tassels.  Zinacantan is a village outside of San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas. Floral motifs are predominant here. $120 USD plus shipping.

P.S. I have two spaces open for the February textile study tour to Chiapas. Email me if you are interested and I’ll send you the program description.

Style 1: Zinacantan Chal, $120

Style 1. Zinacantan Chal detail.

Style 2: SOLD. Large Navy Blue Ikat Rebozo, $175, hand-woven in Tenancingo on a flying shuttle loom with hand-knotted fringe. This large shawl measures 92″ long (including an 11″ hand-knotted fringe) and 29″ wide.

Style 2: Navy Blue Rebozo, $175

Style 2: Navy Blue Ikat Rebozo, detail

Style 3: SOLD. Multi-Rebozo with Blue, Red and Yellow, $175. This is what is known as Grande, 92″ long (including 11″ fringe) and 29″ wide. It is a very fine ikat cotton. Hand-woven in Tenancingo with a hand-knotted fringe.

Style 3, Red, Blue, Yellow Rebozo, extra large, $175

Style 3: Blue, Red, Yellow Rebozo

Style 4: SOLD. This striking contrast of rose and black together with a hand-knotted fringe that says Remember Me gives this very fine quality rebozo a subtle, yet powerfully contrasting design. $125. Size Medium. 88″ long (including a 12″ fringe) and 27″ wide.

Style 4: Rose and Black rebozo, Medium Size, $125 — Recuerdame

Style 4: Recuerdame detail

Style 5: SOLD. Chakira Chalina, $150. Rare, pale blue/gray shawl in plain weave, with intricate fringe that is knotted with beadwork.  Each bead in the fringe is part of the hand-knotting process.  A dying art form! Size medium, measures 82″ long (incuding 11″ fringe) and 29″ wide. Made in Tenancingo de Degollado, Estado de Mexico.

Style 5: Chakira Chalina, $150

Style 5: Chakira Chalina, fringe detail

Style 6: Black and Red Ikat Scarf. $95. This is loomed in Santa Maria del Rio, San Luis Potosi, and woven of rayon, which the locals call seda or silk, because it has a smooth, shiny, silky finish. The scarf measures 90″ long (including an 8″ fringe) and 13-3/4″ wide.

Style 6, Red/Black Ikat Scarf, $95

Style 6: Red/Black Ikat Scarf, detail

Style 7: SOLD. Small Black/Brown Ikat Scarf, $35. Measures 50″ long (including 5″ fringe) by 18-3/4″ wide. A nice addition to keep your neck warm as the weather chills.

Style 7: Black/Brown Ikat Scarf, $35

Style 7: Black/Brown Ikat Scarf, detail

Style 8: SOLD. Indigo-dyed Scarf, $115, by Juan Carlos from Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca. Juan Carlos is my neighbor and his work is exceptionally fine. This is a deep, rich blue, all natural with hand-spun wool. 72″ long (including 4″ fringe) by 14″ wide. The fringe is hand-knotted by his wife.

Style 8: Indigo dyed wool scarf, $115

Style 8: Indigo Scarf, detail

Style 9: SOLD. Super Grande Rebozo, $150. This is made in Santa Maria del Rio, San Luis Potosi, handwoven rayon that the locals call seda (or silk) because of its smooth, silky hand. Color is predominantly dark blue and lime green. Measures 114″ long (with huge 20″ hand-knotted fringe) by 30″ wide. A stunner.

Style 9: Super Grande Shawl, $150

Style 9: Fringe detail

Style 10: SOLD. This Rose Chalina shawl, $125,  is made from the highest quality cotton and has a very fine hand. The fabric is soft and glows. The intricate fringe is all hand-knotted. It’s called a Chalina because it is a plain weave with no pattern. It measures 90″ long (including a 12″ fringe) by 28″ wide. Made in Tenancingo.

Style 10: Rose Chalina, Super Fine and Large, $125

Style 10: Rose Chalina detail

Style 11: SOLD. Black with Coral Accents Ikat Rebozo, $110, size medium, measures 78″ long (including 9″ fringe) by 28″ wide. A graphic masterpiece. Made in Tenanciingo de Degollado, Estado de Mexico on a flying shuttle loom.

Style 11: Black Ikat with Coral Accents, $110

Style 11: Black Ikat Shawl detail

India Journal: Ajrakh Block Prints and Indigo

On the second day after I landed in New Delhi, I went to visit the Sanskriti Museum of Textiles near the Qutub Minar 15th century historic site on the south side of town.

Block printed cotton I collected over weeks in India, mostly indigo

It’s a small, private collection hidden away behind gates on the expansive grounds of an estate that is now an educational center. I was able to combine this stop with one at nearby Nature Bazaar for textile shopping.  You could visit these three destinations in a day!

Assortment of wood blocks, all made by hand, another artisan craft

The Sanskriti Museum of Textiles is important because it explains the process to make ajrakh block printing that ultimately colors the cloth in layers of complexity and depth.  Usually, it is blue and red, combining indigo and madder root. 

Guide Kuldip Gadhvi, wears natural dyed indigo and madder turban cloth

It’s Muslim origins come from the Sindh (Pakistan) and Gujarat, Kutch, India. These areas, now politically distinct, share ancient common artistic, cultural, historical and religious roots.

Turmeric, madder, indigo dye cloth, Abduljabbar Mohammed Khatri studio, Dhamadka

Paste of red clay is first used to set the pattern on cotton

Peopled by nomadic herders who traveled on camels in search of grazing lands, the block printed cloth was traditionally used for men’s turbans and wrap-around pants. These block prints are among the most treasured in the world.

Indigo and madder botanical drawing, Sanskriti Museum

The Sanskriti Museum tells the block printing story by showing the stages on cloth panels. You first start by washing the cotton, then you use a mud past to apply the first pattern with a hand carved wood block. A few steps of the multi-step process are below.

   

After each step, the cloth is washed and then laid out on the ground to dry.

Mud paste for first printing

India is the world’s largest producer of cotton. Some of it, like the finest organic muslin, has the hand of silk, is diaphanous and soft, drapes beautifully.

Applying the first series of designs to cotton, Abduljabbar Mohammed Khatri workshop

Block printing, a close-up of the handwork. Each piece of cloth is imperfect, unique

In India, they use turmeric for yellow. In Mexico, it is wild marigold.

Here you can see the next layer of block print being applied.

A new town, Ajrakhpur, devoted only to block printing, was recently established by Abduljabbar Mohamed Khatri. The dominant figure living and working here is his son Sufiyan, who goes regularly to the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe. Of course, there are other unknown talents to discover here.

Sufiyan Ismail Khatri, son of the master, at his home workshop in Ajrakhpur

I became so overwhelmed by the choice of textiles that I couldn’t focus and only bought one small indigo block printed wool/silk scarf, that is now in the possession of my sister. Fortunately, I managed to concentrate enough to take a few photos!

Washing the cloth after each stage of printing — labor intensive process!

Master Abduljabbar Mohammed Khatri calling card and cloth example

Second step after washing the cotton, printing the design with red clay.

When I was in Ahmedabad, my first priority was to get to the famous block printing shop of the Gamthiwala family, just across the Nehru Bridge in the new city a short distance from House of MG.  They have a smaller shop in the old city, much more romantic, where the selection isn’t as extensive.

Several of these are from Gamthiwala Fab block print textiles, Ahmedabad

In the photo above, the block print on the left (red and blue) is from Khavda, Kutch and is an original Sindh design from Pakistan. From the top right, indigo print from Gamthiwala Fab; indigo and turmeric dyed block print from Rajisthan; next indigo block print, Gamthiwala Fab; next, block print indigo and madder scarf from Fab India made in Gujarat; next, indigo and madder block print from Rajasthan; next from Gamthiwala, an indigo, madder and iron (ferrous oxide) block print; block print dress bought at Fab India.

Having a smoke with friends at the Little Rann of Kutch

And, just so you know that I was having fun, this is a betel leaf cigarette. Do you believe I didn’t inhale? Caught in the act at the Little Rann of Kutch, Dasada, Gujarat. Thanks, Jumed.

Life size terracotta horses Tamil Nadu at Sanskriti Museum, New Delhi

Tamil Nadu is the India state source for indigo. It is in the south, tropical and perfect for production. It is also the place where terracotta figures were discovered. When I saw them, they reminded me of the soldiers unearthed in Xian, China, that I saw in the early 1990’s, though on a much smaller scale.

Tomorrow, I leave Southern California for Oaxaca, where life resumes not as usual either! I am almost recovered from jet lag. Stay tuned for the next installment.

Fascinating that garbanzo beans are used as dye for ajrakh, called gram

Stack of mud printed cloth waiting for next steps

Block printer, Gujarat, India

Pop-Up Sale: Oaxaca Quechquemitl, Mexico Stylish Scarf/Poncho

This pop-up clothing sale features the indigenous Mexico short poncho or triangular bodice cover-up called a quechquemitl in the Nahuatl language, used by pre-Hispanic women throughout the country.

It’s my favorite accessory and that’s why I have too many of them! Slip one over your head, and your shoulders and bodice are covered beautifully, even if you are only wearing a tank-top or halter. It’s a one-piece scarf, too, that never falls off!

My 2011 Quechquemitl Blog Post

How to Wear a Quechquemitl

Here I am offering — in like-new, rarely worn condition — some beautiful indigenous clothing made by women and men in Oaxaca villages, most made with natural dyes, some hand-spun native cotton. As you might expect, they are from some of Oaxaca’s finest weavers, dyers and designers.

All prices include shipping within 48 U.S. states!  Send me an email and tell me which piece(s) you want. I’ll email you a PayPal invoice. Purchases must be made by June 30. I will ship from Santa Fe, New Mexico after July 7.

Native Oaxaca coyuchi cotton quechquemitl, trimmed in green cotton, $125 USD

Native, rare Oaxaca coyuchi cotton quechquemitl, hand-trimmed in green, $125 USD

  1. Coyuchi Cotton Quechquemitl (above) handwoven in the village of San Sebastian Rio Hondo on the back strap loom by Khadi Oaxaca. Color is a warm caramel. One size fits all. $125 USD.

1B. Coyuchi cotton quechquemitl, close-up

1B. Coyuchi hand-spun wild cotton quechquemitl, close-up

Note about coyuchi cotton: This is rare, wild native cotton grown in the high mountains of Oaxaca that separates the valley and the coast.

2. SOLD. This pericone (wild marigold) dyed quechquemitl (below) is exactly the same style as the one above, made in San Sebastian Rio Hondo by Khadi Oaxaca. It is golden-yellow and the hand weaving shows the variegation of the process. One size. $145 USD.

Pericone and indigo quechquemitl from Khadi Oaxaca, soft gold and variegated blue

Pericone and indigo quechquemitl, hand-spun cotton, soft gold and variegated blue

Pericone quechquemitl trimmed in indigo blue cotton thread, hand-dyed. $145 USD

Pericone quechquemitl with indigo blue cotton thread. $145 USD

3. Below. Pericone/indigo/coyuchi dress, size M/L. I made a pattern from a favorite Dosa dress and have sewed it multiple times with French seams, patch pockets, and lots of designer detailing and hand stitching. For this dress, I bought hand-spun cotton fabric from Khadi Oaxaca that is hand-woven and dyed with wild marigold, indigo and integrates native coyuche cotton. $165 USD.

3B. Detail, Dosa-inspired dress with Khadi Oaxaca fabric

3B. Detail, Dosa-inspired dress with Khadi Oaxaca fabric

Here is the full dress below.

Size M/L. A-line dress made with Khadi Oaxaca handspun + woven cotton. $145 USD

3A. Size M/L dress made with Khadi Oaxaca handspun + woven cotton. $165 USD

4. Alfredo Orozco nut-dyed quechquemitl, below, is woven on a flying shuttle pedal loom in the deshillado technique, which means there is an open-weave. You can see the detail in photo 4B. This one is more pale beige than brown. Touches of cream-colored ikat add interest. One size. $85 USD.

Hand-woven, nut-dyed quechquemitl with ikat dyed warp threads by Alfredo Orozco, $85 USD

Hand-woven, nut-dyed Orozco quechquemitl with ikat warp threads, $85 USD

Below is the weave detail of the fabric above. Finish work is done by Alfredo’s wife Veronica on the sewing machine.

4B. Orozco beige quequemitl detail with open weave.

4B. Orozco beige quechquemitl detail with open weave.

5. SOLD. Below, same Orozco style as #4, but with indigo blue dyed threads to add detail of design. One size fits all, $85 USD.

Orozco quequemitl with nut and indigo dyes. Detail is with open weave. $85 USD

Orozco quechquemitl with nut and indigo dyes. Detail is with open weave. $85 USD

#5B. Full view of Orozco nut/indigo dyed quechquemitl. It is more beige than photo shows. $85 USD

#5B. Orozco nut/indigo dyed quechquemitl, more beige than photo shows. $85 USD

6. Melon colored cotton top, below, size medium, from the Oaxaca shop of Remigio Mestas, Los Baules de Juana Cata, the finest in town. Machine chain stitching, commercial thread, signed by back-strap loom weaver. $75

Crop top from Remigio Mestas' Los Baules de Juana Cata, $65 USD

Cotton top from Remigio Mestas’ Los Baules de Juana Cata, $75 USD

6B. Detail of cotton top from Remigio Mestas

6B. Detail of cotton top from Remigio Mestas

7. SOLD. Turquoise quechquemitl, one size, with machine chain stitch detailing, hand-finished seams and hem. From the best shop in Oaxaca, Los Baules de Juana Cata and Remigio Mestas. $125 USD.

Quechquemitl in brilliant turquoise from Remigio Mestas, one size, $125 USD

Quechquemitl in brilliant turquoise from Remigio Mestas, one size, $125 USD

7B. Detail of turquoise quechquemitl.

7B. Detail of turquoise quechquemitl. Not discolored, just photo light variations.

8. Wine Red Quechquemitl, below, from Los Baules de Juana Cata and Remigio Mestas who personally works with indigenous weavers and embroiderers to make the finest garments. One size. $125 USD.

Wine Red Quechquemitl, one size, $125 USD, from the shop of Remigio Mestas

Wine Red Quechquemitl, one size, $125 USD, from the shop of Remigio Mestas

Detail of wine red quechquemitl from Remigio Mestas' Oaxaca shop

Detail of wine red quechquemitl from Remigio Mestas’ Oaxaca shop

Let me know which one you would like to purchase by number —  send me an email. I’ll be going to the USA in early July and will mail to you via USPS after July 7.  Thank you very much!