Tag Archives: French knots

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.

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