Tag Archives: huipil

Give Meaning: Las Sanjuaneras Textiles from Oaxaca–Handmade, Heartfelt

A handmade, hand-woven textile from Oaxaca is a meaningful gift this year when so few tourists are there to support artisans. Instead of taking you into remote villages to meet the makers this year, I am bringing what they make to the USA to offer them to you. Please support them.

Today’s Sale Features Las Sanjuaneras Cooperative

Read about the Las Sanjuaneras Cooperative here!

We can collectively help alleviate the economic ravages of Covid-19 this way. Please consider helping the women who make these beautiful garments by making a purchase either for yourself or for a loved one. These are one-of-a-kind treasures.

SOLD. #2. Brisaida. Indigo, almond bark. 31×52″ $525

Made-by-hand means:

  1. Growing the organic, native cotton in small mountain plots.
  2. Cleaning, carding and then spinning the cotton with the drop spindle (malacate).
  3. Picking locally sourced plant materials for natural dyes; buying cochineal and indigo from specialty farmers.
  4. Making the dye baths and dyeing the threads.
  5. Dressing the back-strap loom.
  6. Weaving the threads on the ancient back-strap loom.
  7. Hand-sewing the wefts of cloth together with intricate stitches to make a garment.
  8. Washing and pressing the finished textile.
  9. Packing it up and mailing it to us to prepare for you.

Measurements: First number is width. Second number is length. Width is measure across the front, side seam to side seam.

#12. Brisaida. 30×21″ $320

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! 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.

SOLD. #5. Camerina. Indigo + ferrous oxide. 27×21″ $295.
SOLD #4. Camerina. Indigo. Medium weight. 29×33″ $320

Where is Las Sanjuaneras Cooperative located? At the end of a winding mountain road up from MEX 200 on the coast at Pinotepa Nacional is the weaving village of San Juan Colorado. It’s about four hours from Puerto Escondido and is part of our Oaxaca Coast Textile Tour 2022 (next year). Meanwhile, we can support this talented group while we wait until it is safe to travel again!

SOLD. #9. Josefina. 36×24″ Medium weight. $350
SOLD. #3. Andrea. Indigo + Native Cotton Gauze. 33×42″ $445.

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.

#11. Claudia. Marigold, medium weight. 35×40″ $425.
#10. Claudia. Iron oxide, mahogany. Medium weight. 36×37″ $425
SOLD. #7. Andrea. Indigo, mahogany gauze. 34×27″ $340

Return Policy: We support artisans and funds get transferred immediately. There are no returns or refunds. This is a final sale.

SOLD. #14 Finely woven, iron oxide. 34×39″ $325
#15. Iron oxide + indigo. 30×34″ $285
Picking native green cotton in San Juan Colorado
#8. Camerina. 31×21-1/2″ Brazilwood, nanche. $295

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! — 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.

SOLD. #19. Andrea. Marigold, chocolatillo. 35-1/2×24″. $295.
#16. Aurora. Beet, mahogany, nanche, almond, iron oxide. 38×22″ $325.
SOLD. #17 Margarita. Marigold, iron oxide, beet, brazilwood. 22-3/4×35″ $185.
SOLD. #18. Aurora. 19×28″. Nanche, mahogany, almond, beet. $195.

Back to Textiles: Amusgo Weaving, Xochistlahuaca, Guerrero

So-Chees-Lah-Hwa-Kah. I spell it out in transliteration so you can say it more easily. Short hand is So-Chee!

I took the last two weeks off from writing and blogging to take a road trip to the Midwest where I visited friends in South Bend, Indiana, and Columbus, Ohio. It was a welcome diversion from routine. While on the road, I was in touch with Yecenia (Yesi) Lopez after contacting her earlier about selecting some of her Tejadoras de Llanura de las Flores Cooperative’s beautiful textiles for us to see and purchase. I made the order from South Bend and when I returned to Durham yesterday, the box was there waiting for me at the front door.

Sale Starts: Saturday, October 3, 2020, 1:00 p.m. Eastern

Preview of Xochistlahuaca textiles

About Amusgos Textiles

There are 17 garments total. Some are natural dyes. Some are native green, white and coyuchi (honey colored) cotton grown in the village on small farm plots. There is one scarf. Most are blusas and there are a few long huipiles. Even as we are approaching winter, these make beautiful, colorful tops to layer over a long-sleeve silk T-shirt to wear with leggings, pants, jeans or a skirt.

The Amusgo people are an indigenous group with their own distinct language who live north and south along the Oaxaca-Guerrero border. The closest town to Xochistlahuaca, Guerrero is Ometepec. It is more than five hours north of Puerto Escondido and is considered part of the Costa Chica region that extends to just south of Acapulco.

This is a traditional gala Xochistlahuaca huipil
Maximina picks native green cotton from her fields

About Tejadoras de Llanura de las Flores, from Yesi Lopez de Jesus

“We are a group of women from the municipality of Xochistlahuaca, the original community where the Amusgos people live. We decided to work in a group that we named the Cooperativa Llanura de las Flores — Plain of Flowers — which is the meaning of the name of our Suljaa people in our indigenous language. This is what Xochistlahuaca means in Amusgo: Plain of Flowers.

“We learned to weave and spin thread from our mothers, grandmothers, aunts and sisters. Weaving is learned and transmitted from generation to generation. Now, we understand that with threads we create art. In each textile that we make, there is a piece of us, our time, our knowledge, patience, love and part of our life.

“It is necessary to work in a cooperative to help each other out as women, to contribute to the economic well-being of our household, to feed, educate and provide healthcare for our children and our families.

“The textile, the huipil, everything we create with the threads and our imagination, is not only a piece for sale or simple merchandise. Our creations are living pieces in which we capture part of our daily life. We weave the iconography of our Plain of Flowers.

“This is why we think that as a cooperative we can continue working and sharing with the younger generations so that this ancient knowledge is never lost.

“We are 25 women who continue to weave, fighting for life, defending the loom and native cotton.”

When you purchase one (or more) of these beautiful textiles, you are bringing the heart and soul of the weaver and her family into your home and heart. Not only do you add beauty to your own life, you are supporting the history of back-strap loom weaving in Mexico and giving women an opportunity to earn a fair wage from their work. You provide sustenance and continuity. You provide hope and courage. You provide value and meaning.

Mark your calendar for Saturday, October 3 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time for our shop to open here at https://oaxacaculture.com

What do we call them? Huipiles. Not Caftans!

In addition to cultural appropriation, there is a debate raging about what to call the hand-woven, back-strap loomed garments from Mexico that many of us know as huipiles. This is plural. The singular is huipil. (Some huipiles for sale below!)

How do you say it?


(or What do you do with a banana? We peel. — Thank you, Mary Randall)


Caftan (kaftan) or tunic is a misnomer. I am reminded of this via a text message this morning from Ana Paula Fuentes, who introduced me to Las Sanjuaneras some years ago and was the founding director of the Museo Textil de Oaxaca. I promised her that you and I would have a discussion about Mexican clothing as a way to spread the word about culture.

I just want to set the record straight that I called these garments thus because it is what the American and Canadian marketplace knows and understands as a fashion definition. We’ve been acculturated since the 60’s when these garments came to us from Europe and North Africa and Asia as casual wear, beach and pool wear, loungewear. Now, with Covid-19, the idea is being reintroduced to the world of contemporary clothing as a perfect solution to comfort while we are homebound.

Let’s have the conversation: Clothing origins from Mexico deserve to be called by their true name. Huipil. Bluson. Blusa. Rebozo. Quechquemitl. Etc. And, we can spread the word about the quality of Mexico’s indigenous weaving by using the true name of the garment. People need to know these are huipiles. Not caftans or tunics.

Bluson: A short, cropped flowing version of a huipil, usually waist-length or hip-length.

Blusa: A blouse, more fitted than free-form; a universal term.

Rebozo: A shawl whose origins are from the Philippines via Spain.

Quechquemitl: A triangular pull-over shawl, scarf, cover-up that is pre-Hispanic and the first indigenous garment.

So, help us out here. When you wear one of these garments, call it a Huipil. Together, we can be influencers and talk about Mexico as being a fashion innovator rather than a follower of Euro-centric style. You give value to the weavers this way, too. Thank you.

Still some beauties from Las Sanjuaneras For Sale

#10. Andrea. Bluson. Marigold, chocolatillo. 35-1/2×24. $295.

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! We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

#2. Camerina. Huipil. Indigo, iron oxide. $285. 34-1/2×34. $285.
#18. Aurora. 19×28. Blusa. Nanche, mahogany, almond, beet. $195.
SOLD. #16. Patrocinia. Bluson. Indigo, native cotton, $195.
#24. Aurora. Bluson. Beet, mahogany, nanche, almond, iron oxide. 38×22. $295.
SOLD. #7. Maria Lucia. 40×40. Huipil. Indigo, iron oxide, beet, nanche. $395
#20. Andrea. Blusa. Marigold, iron oxide, native cotton. 22-3/4×30. $195.
#21. Margarita. Blusa. Marigold, iron oxide, beet, brazilwood, 22-3/4×35. $165.

Collectibles and Wearables: Artisan Made and For Sale

My tradition is to look through my collection and offer distinctive pieces for sale just before I leave Oaxaca to return for visits to the USA. Most pieces are new and never worn, collected as part of my commitment to support artisans where I travel. A few are part of my personal wardrobe, rarely used, and now too large for me. 15 PIECES TOTAL. Scroll down!

I leave for the USA on Thursday, March 12. If you want a piece, please purchase by March 10. I will mail by March 17. Each piece is numbered and priced separately. I add on $12 USD for USPS priority mailing anywhere in USA. If you live in Canada, mailing is more than double.

I will only take with me what I pre-Sell. Email your intent to purchase to: norma.schafer@icloud.com

Send me: Item # and price, your name, mailing address (city/state/ZIP). I will send you a PayPal invoice. As soon as your purchase is complete, I will mark the item SOLD. Thank you VERY much.

1A. Embroidered dress, size Petite-Small, Aguacatenango, Chiapas, $185 USD

I bought it off the hanger at Alberto Gomez Lopez’ cooperative. Oh, I thought it would fit and it doesn’t. It must be size Petite/Small.

1B. Extraordinary embroidery and smocking. New.
1C. Sleeve detail, Aguacatenango dress
#2. Indigo, purple snail dye, native Oaxaca cotton, size L-XL, $265 USD, Dreamweavers Coop
SOLD. #3 hand-loomed gauze cotton, L-XL, San Pedro Amusgos, from Remigio Mestas, $145
#4 Tenejapa, Chiapas, hand-loomed collector piece, $285 USD
#4b. Detail of bodice
SOLD. #5 San Andres Larrainzar, Chiapas, collector piece, $285 USD
SOLD. #5 bodice detail
SOLD. #6 Pinotepa Nacional, Oaxaca, collector piece, embroidered, hand-loomed, $185
#6 bodice detail
#7 San Andres Larrainzar, size M-L, back-strap loom, $95
#7 bodice detail
#8 triangle scarf, Zinacantan, Chiapas, $75 USD
#9 scarf, hand-knotted fringe with beading (chakira), Tenancingo de Degollado
#9, extra-large Ikat scarf, Tenancingo de Degollado, $250 USD
#10 Multi-stripe scarf or table runner, San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, $85 USD
SOLD. #11 Cross-stitch needle work dress, Oaxaca coast, $185 USD
SOLD. #11 bodice detail
SOLD. #12 size L-XL, embroidered, Isthmus of Tehuantepec, $70 USD
SOLD. #13 size L-XL, San Juan Cotzocon, Oaxaca, backstrap loom, from Remigio, $145 USD
SOLD. #14 San Juan Cancuc, Chiapas embroidered and woven huipil, size M, $120 USD
#15 Dreamweavers Coop, Pinotepa de Don Luis, size L-XL, purple snail dye, fine huipil, $245
#15 bodice detail, silk dyed w/rare purple snail, backstrap loom finely woven

My Oaxaca Tienda: Sale

I’m leaving for the USA on July 10 and as is my custom before I go back, I loop through my collection and offer a few pieces for sale. I’m now a size small-petite and these beautiful clothes are large-extra large. They are never worn or gently worn, perhaps a couple of times.

How to Buy: I have numbered each garment with price. Please send me an email norma.schafer@icloud.com and tell me which piece you want by number. Include your mailing address. I will send you an invoice and then bring the piece with me to mail to you after July 11. Mailing cost of $8 USD per package will be added. For Canada shipments, add $30 USD.

#1. Santiago Jamiltepec blusa, backstrap loomed, cotton with embroidery, $68 USD
#2. SOLD. Las Sanjuaneras huipil, San Juan Colorado, Oaxaca, hand-spun and woven cotton, natural dye with oxidized pomegranate, $285 USD
#3. SOLD. Pinotepa de Don Luis, Oaxaca, from Dreamweavers cooperative, woven by Amada, with coyuchi native cotton, indigo and caracol purpura shell dye, $325 USD
#4. SOLD. From Remigo Mesta’s shop Los Baules de Juana Cata, back-strap loomed, cotton gauze, shimmering turquoise and rich brown colors, $165
#5. SOLD. Amantenango, Chiapas, cotton blouse, smocked, embroidered, $65 USD
#6. SOLD. Tlahuitoltepec, Oaxaca, machine embroidered traditional blouse, $135 USD
#7. Puebla Mountains, embroidered and smocked blusa, fine detail, $155 USD
#8. SOLD. San Juan Colorado cooperative Jini Nuu, back-strap loomed blusa, $110 USD