Tag Archives: Embroidery

Guest Post: Take (or Gift) a Oaxaca Embroidery Workshop Online

Are you looking for a last-minute meaningful gift? Are you looking for a creative Covid-19 diversion? Do you want to learn traditional Oaxaca embroidery techniques? Do you want to support an indigenous family who depends on textile sales for livelihood?

There is no tourism now, so no sales. My friend Susan deLone thought up this great way to learn and help a woman embroiderer in Oaxaca.

If your answer is YES to any of these questions above, please read on …

An Invitation from Susan deLone to Learn Oaxaca Embroidery

I am the director of a Latino tutoring program for families in New Jersey. All of our families come from the pueblos of Oaxaca.  We started a Zoom class with craftswomen from Oaxaca to teach our moms and kids.

One talented woman, Rosa, has been teaching embroidery with great success. She is originally from the village of San Bartolome Ayautla, where women make exquisite embroidered blouses and dresses.

 I attend these classes given by Rosa as well. The classes are in Spanish. Rosa is the wife of a Oaxaca doctor who was himself, infected with COVID-19 and spent two months in hospital. He had to learn to read and write all over again. He continues to improve.

Rosa is also a housekeeper for a Philadelphia family who now lives in Oaxaca.

I find Rosa to be exceptional…warm and patient, eager to teach, well prepared.  She also gives homework!  I enjoy her class very much.

I hope you will want to learn from her by Zoom.  She will send a Zoom invitation to you once you have registered. We are taking registrations for an introductory set of 4 classes for $50 USD.

How to Register:

Mail a personal check for $50 USD to Susan deLone, 4300 Church Road, Doylestown, PA 18902. Questions: send an email to Susan at sdelone@comcast.net Susan is looking into creating a Venmo account, too, for those who want to pay online.

More Class Info:

Each class is 40 minutes and there will be a set time depending on Rosa’s availability. There is no translator, however, Rosa’s hands are demonstration enough! It is easy to learn by watching. The figures are not as elaborate as those shown in these examples. They are very simple. Rosa draws a flower or a person and we draw on our own fabric. Rosa recommends that you use cotton. She teaches different stitches by demonstration. You have a week to do these patterns on your own, and then bring your work to the next class for show and tell.


You provide your own cotton, embroidery floss (thread), hoops, needles, scissors. White cotton is recommended.

In embroidery you can chat and have fun…it’s like having coffee with friends and also making something beautiful. This is a wonderful, meaningful gift to yourself or someone who appreciates needlework.

Support for Chiapas Embroidery Cooperative: Shop Open

Aguacatenango is a Chiapas Maya village about an hour-and-a-half from San Cristobal de Las Casas. The altitude is lower and temperatures warmer. The women there embroider exquisite natural cotton blouses, and we found the best of the best. Her name is Francisca, and along with her family members, she creates completely made-by-hand blouses — there are no sewing machines!

For photos and village story, Click Here!

Usually, we bring Chiapas Textile Tour travelers to Aguacatenango to meet Francisca, but not this year! As covid-19 rages unchecked in Mexico and the USA, you know we have cancelled all our programs until late 2021. Artisan villages throughout Mexico are hard hit economically. There is no tourism to help sustain even the most talented. That’s why I contacted Francisca a few months ago to see how we could help by bringing this workmanship to us.

This time, I asked for larger sizes and specified the dimensions, along with the color-ways. This is a custom order that you will not find anywhere else!

12 pieces are available for sale. Limited selection.

  • Size XL — Bodice is 15″ wide, sleeve is 23″ long, blouse is 24″ long from shoulder to hem — 4 pieces
  • Size L — Bodice is 14″ wide, sleeve is 22″ long, blouse is 24″ long from shoulder to hem — 4 pieces
  • Size M — Bodice is 12″ wide, blouse is 24″ long from shoulder to hem — 3 pieces
  • Size S — Bodice is 10″ wide, sleeve is 21″ long, blouse is 22″ long from shoulder to hem — 1 piece

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 DO NOT SELECT buying goods or services–so we don’t pay commissions. We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

Extra-Large Selection–4 available — 15″ wide bodice (A):

  • SOLD. 1. Blue, long sleeve XL, $140
  • SOLD. 2. Blue, long sleeve XL, $140
  • SOLD. 3. Red, long sleeve XL, $140
  • SOLD. 4. Red, long sleeve, XL, $140

Large Selection–4 available — 14″ wide bodice (A):

  • SOLD. 5. Large, Red, $120
  • SOLD. 6. Large Blue, $120
  • 7. Large Blue, $120
  • 8. Large Blue, $120

Size Medium Selection–3 available — 12″ wide bodice (A):

  • 9. Beige, short sleeve Medium, $120
  • 10. Beige, short sleeve, Medium, $120
  • 11. Beige, short sleeve, Medium, $120

Size Small Selection–1 available — 10″ wide bodice (A):

  • 12. Beige long sleeve, Small, $120

Textile Care: Dry clean or wash by hand. To wash, turn garment inside out. Immerse in cold water using a mild soap such as Fels Naptha or baby shampoo. Don’t use Woolite — it leeches color. Gently massage the cloth. Squeeze and roll in a towel to absorb excess water. Hang to dry. Use medium steam heat to iron if needed.

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 DO NOT SELECT buying goods or services — so we don’t pay commissions. We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

Pssst. Embroidered French Knot Blouses Are Back

I’ll be putting them up here for sale on Friday, December 11, at 1 PM Eastern Time. This time, I have mostly large and extra-large sizes, and 90% of them are long-sleeve. The French knots are densely embroidered on the bodice with accent touches on the sleeve cuffs.

Color choices are peacock blue and red in the large sizes. I also have a few mediums in short sleeves, beige color, and one size small.

Prices are $120 for small, medium and large, and $140 for the extra large. Mailing is $12.

  • Small measures 10″ across the bodice — 1 available, beige, long-sleeve
  • Medium measures 12″ across the bodice — 3 available, beige, short-sleeve
  • Large measures 13-1/2″ across the bodice –6 available
  • Extra-large measures 14-1/2″ across the bodice — 3 available

Sorry, I’m not able to do pre-sales. Shop opens here on Friday, December 11.

Our embroiderer is Francisca from Aguacatenango, Chiapas. A few years ago, we met her in the village courtyard under the big oak tree, along with about 30 other embroiderers who live there. We could tell her work was far and away among the best! Our group traipsed down the road to her house for a demonstration and sale. Now, during the pandemic there are no tourists, so I contacted her to see if should would make a custom order.

I specified sizes made for our body shapes and sizes — most of us are not the petite stature of Maya women of Chiapas! So, you won’t find these anywhere else but here. Sale is first-come, first-serve. Set your alarm and don’t miss it.

Francisca demonstrates embroidery techniques

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.

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