Before I left Oaxaca in August to return to New Mexico (to pack, make the mortgage deadline, move, get cataract surgery, unpack, get settled), I went through my collection of back-strap loomed dresses and blouses (huipiles and blusas) in my Teotitlan del Valle casita and made some hard decisions about what to sell. I did this based on 1) the size I was when I bought them, 2) the size I am now, 3) if I ever wore them, 4) if I ever will wear them, and 5) their rarity. Many pieces ARE RARE. Not surprisingly, many still have their tags on them, and all are in pristine condition. Another factor for this sale now is that I FINALLY got fiber internet connection yesterday to my house after waiting for months. So, it’s much easier for me to write and post on my computer rather than using the slow-as-molasses, funky roaming service on my iPhone. Supply chain and labor scarcity has set me back in many ways. I also want you to know that the prices for these huipiles are about what they would cost if purchased directly from the maker. Some are deeply reduced and I’m happy to take a loss. I just have to pare down my collection. I decided recently that I was not going to start a textile museum and best they go to friends, acquaintances, and followers who appreciate these handmade pieces as much as I do. That’s the story!
How to Buy: Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me the item(s) you want to purchase by number, your email, your mailing address and which payment method you prefer: 1) Zelle bank transfer with no service fee; 2) Venmo or 3) PayPal each with a 3% service fee. I will send you a request for funds and then add on a flat rate $14 mailing fee. Happy to combine shipping. Thank you.
SOLD. #1. This creamy white pullover blusa is a perfect pair-up with slacks or jeans. Wear it in winter over a cozy T to add some pizzaz to your style. This is handwoven on the back strap loom by the Oaxaca Amusgo people. The top has crotchet edging around the bodice, seams, and sleeves. Measures a drapy 40″ wide x 22″ long. $165.
#2. From the famous workshop of designer Alberto Lopez Gomez, Aldama, Chiapas (remember, he was invited to NYC fashion week and has exhibited all over Europe). This is a densely woven back strap loomed blusa in a dusty rose on white. All the patterning in the cloth is done with the supplementary weft technique, which means it is woven into the cloth as the weaver progresses, taking months to make. Note: This is NOT embroidered! Measures 23″ wide x 24″ long. You can have this at cost: $385.
SOLD. #3. This is a lovely short huipil measuring 29″ wide x 29″ long, handwoven on the back strap loom in Pinotepa de Don Luis on the Oaxaca coast, where master weavers work in natural dyes. This one is dyed with the shell of the jicara gourd and the designs are created using the rare caracol purpura purple snail, almost extinct. $295.
#4. The Amusgo people are some of the finest weavers in Oaxaca. This is a collector’s piece, rare, dyed with indigo and native brown cotton in the Guerrero village of Xochistlahuaca. Measures 32″ wide x 40″ long. Priced at $595.
#5. I spotted this beauty in the corner of a cooperative in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas. It is dyed with cochineal and alderwood. Very special because it is a contemporary adaptation of the traditional huipil from San Juan Cancuc, located far into the mountains and difficult to get to. Note the hand-tied fringes at the hem and embroidered detail on the bodfice. Size small. Measures 21″ wide x 36″ long. $225.
SOLD. #6. Another Pinotepa de Don Luis beauty — a very fine indigo and coyuchi (native brown Oaxaca cotton that is pre-Hispanic in origin) huipil that is 29″ wide x 42″ long. $345. This comes from the Tixinda cooperative whose members include Don Habacuc who goes to the coast to harvest the rare purple snail.
SOLD #7. A floral masterpiece. From the Amusgo community in Guerrero state just across the Oaxaca border to the north along the Pacific coast, comes this huipil from the Flor de las Llanuras cooperative. This is a finely woven gauze piece that is unusual in its subtlety of color and masterful weaving. Measures 25″ wide x 41″ long. $495.
SOLD. #8. Originating from a famous cooperative in San Juan Colorado, this traditional huipil features all natural dyes on hand-spun native cotton. The dyes include nanche (a local fruit) and iron oxide. Measures 27″ wide x 44″ long. $185.
#9. Far south on the coast of Oaxaca is the small fishing village of San Mateo del Mar near the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. The few weaving families remaining are masterful interpreters of sealife, flora and fauna of the region. This one is made by the most famous weaver, Francisca Palafox Heran, and her iinitials are woven into the bodice of the cloth. For the discerning collector among us! It very fine cotton woven on the back strap loom, dyed with alderwood and indigo. Measures 24″ wide x 38″ long. $395.
#10. Another blue and white beauty from San Mateo del Mar, woven by one of Francisca’s family members. Measures 25″ wide x 42″ long. $295.
SOLD. #11. Amusgo white gauze huipil, measures 30″ wide x 40″ long. See the fine detail of the patterning in the cloth — a weaving technique called supplementary weft. White on white is a rarity to find. $285.
#12. Blue indigo and coyuchi native brown cotton huipil from Las Sanjuaneras cooperative in San Juan Colorado. These women are spectacular weavers. Measures 31″ wide x 34″ long. $225.
SOLD. #13. Pinotepa de Don Luis huipil woven with threads dyed with rare purple snail called caracol purpura and native brown coyuchi cotton. The purple dye is rare and on the verge of extinction. Measures 25″ wide x 36″ long. $375.
SOLD. #14. Las Sanjuaneras indigo, mahogany bark, and native white cotton huipil from San Juan Colorado. Measures 30″ wide x 37″ long. Graceful and flowing. $265.
SOLD. #15. Amusgo beige huipil, fine details in the supplementary weft weaving, measures 31″ wide x 42″ long and priced to sell at $195.
SOLD. #16. Weavers and dyers are experimenting (a very good thing for innovation), and they have come up with a color-fast raw indigo dye that comes out a muted green/blue. This one has subtle strips and is embellished with caracol purpura purple snail threads that depict traditional designs found in San Juan Colorado. Measures 33″ wide x 31″ long. $285.
In the next weeks, I’ll be looking through my boxes and featuring a few more huipiles, plus an array of beautiful shawls and scarves — perfect adornment for chillier weather coming on. Or use these for table runners, I’ve never been able to say NO to a beautiful textile or to supporting the weavers who need our patronage. Plus, Day of the Dead is coming up and I have masks, carvings, and sculpture from Mexico that I’ll be listing, too. Be on the alert!