Tag Archives: indigo

Deck Your Halls with Oaxaca Rugs: Shop Open

We got this shipment of hand-woven Oaxaca rugs just in time for the holidays. Even if you are celebrating small (and we hope you are), these floor coverings (or display them as wall hangings) are a great decor enhancer for a fresh, new look. Made in Oaxaca, Mexico, by Taller Teñido a Mano on a 2-harness treadle loom, these tapestries are versatile and sturdy.

What makes these rugs special?

  • Our artisans use only naturally-dyed churro sheep wool
  • The wool is hand-carded and spun with the malacate — drop spindle
  • Dye materials include cochineal, indigo, wild marigold, wood bark, pomegranate (to name a few)
  • Our artisans dye the wool themselves — this is a slow process that yields amazing, vibrant and strong colors
  • The weaver uses his imagination to create unique, one-of-a-kind textiles
  • Designed in Oaxaca — made to last a lifetime

We also have Face Masks dyed with indigo, walnut and wild marigold, along with several skeins of cotton thread (3-1/2 ounces / 100 grams) dyed with indigo and wild marigold — perfect for weaving or embroidery.

Please place your order quickly to receive by December 24, 2020. Thanks so much.

#1–Indigo, cochineal, undyed wool, 23×36″ $285

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.

#2–Indigo, cochineal, un-dyed wool, 23×36 $285
#3–Cochineal, indigo, marigold, pomegranate, 23×23″ $195

Handmade in Oaxaca: Taller Teñido a Mano specializes in experimenting with natural dye extracts for different applications on fibers. They have 18 years of experience and lead a group of artisans to create tapestries, bags, home goods and other textiles, often supplying thread to other artisan weavers, too.

SOLD. #4–100% henequin (Jute/hemp) with indigo + undyed wool. 23×22″ $175
SOLD. #5–Indigo + undyed wool, 31×55″ $285
#6–Indigo, undyed wool, cochineal, pomegranate, 23×23″ $195
#7–Indigo ikat + zapote negro, 22×33″. $295
SOLD OUT. 4 Skeins of cotton yarn, 3.5 oz. /100 grams, $24 each
  • SOLD. Yarn Skein #A — wild marigold (1), $24
  • SOLD. Yarn Skein #B — indigo (1), $24
  • SOLD. Yarn Skein #C — indigo (1), $24
  • SOLD. Yarn Skein #D — indigo (1), $24
Face Masks, 100% cotton, lined with natural dyes, $17 each
  • SOLD. Face Mask #1–TOP: pomegranate dyed
  • SOLD. Face Mask #2–MIDDLE: walnut dyed
  • Face Mask #3–BOTTOM: indigo dyed
  • Face Mask #4–indigo dyed (not shown)
  • Face Mask #5– indigo dyed (not shown)
  • Face Mask #6 — indigo dyed (not shown)

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.

Guest Post: Thanksgiving Sale for Oaxaca Coast Textile Artisans

Most of us have made the difficult choice to NOT travel to Oaxaca at least until the pandemic is under control and a vaccine is readily available. I have heard from many people asking what we can do, absent of travel, to support indigenous artisans who have been VERY hard hit by the tourist economy free-fall. Bottom line: People are suffering and we can help directly by purchasing something beautiful they have made.

We are getting a jump on Black Friday by making this opportunity available to you today!

Happy Thanksgiving — Special Dreamweavers Sale for You — 10% Discount. Sale starts TODAY

That’s why I invited Patrice Perillie, founder of Dreamweavers /Tixinda Textiles from Pinotepa de Don Luis, Oaxaca, to write a guest blog. Together, we are offering a select group of hand-woven, naturally-dyed textiles for sale at 10% off.

Patrice says: Thanksgiving gives us an opportunity to re-think how we shop and who we support.  Please consider giving a gift that will sustain indigenous weavers while delighting your loved ones! If indigenous artisans are going to survive this pandemic they need your help. 

How to Buy and Get 10% Discount:

  1. Go to Mexican Dreamweavers Facebook Page and find the textiles for sale.
  2. Choose which piece(s) you wish to purchase. Please fully describe.
  3. You tell Patrice which piece you want and that you were referred by Oaxaca Cultural Navigator: Norma Schafer
  4. When you say we referred you, you will receive a 10% discount on your purchase. You will NOT receive the discount unless you say we referred you.
  5. You send Patrice your name, address, zip code, telephone number, item(s) description and cost
  6. Patrice will send you an invoice and add on the cost of shipping to the USA from Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca (estimated at about $65, depending on weight — note: higher shipping costs to Canada)
  7. You will receive your purchase in about 7-10 days via either FedEx or Estafeta

Email for Patrice Perillie

You might ask: What is tixinda? This is the rare purple dye that is extracted from the caracol purpura sea snail. Tixinda is what the snail is called in the Mixtec language.

Below are some examples of what is available to purchase:

$400 USD. Indigo, rare purple tixinda and white cotton.
42″ long x 28″ wide

What Patrice Perillie, Immigrant Rights Attorney, Says …

I write to you from beautiful Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, where I have called home for the past 32 years. Here we all try to keep ourselves COVID-safe by wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and sanitizing, and not depending on government restrictions which are in earnest but rarely enforced. It has been a difficult time especially for the indigenous artisans of our world.

For the past 12 years, it has been my privilege to work with Tixinda, a cooperative of Mixtec women weavers from Pinotepa de Don Luis. We don’t see each other much now and we have had to adapt to the new COVID world.  Many of the events we sell at have been canceled, including the prestigious International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Our all-volunteer, non-profit organization Mexican Dreamweavers*, has also been forced to cancel what would have been our 12th Annual Dreamweavers Exhibition and Sale, which normally takes place the fourth Sunday in January. Norma’s celebrated Oaxaca Coast Textile Tour to participate in this event is also canceled. We need to stay home to protect ourselves and our indigenous friends.

$200 USD. Use as shawl or table runner. Coyuchi and native cream colored cotton.

The Mixtec weavers of the Tixinda weaving cooperative are among the last of weavers in Mexico who grow their own cotton — white, green and native brown coyuchi. They spin it with the ancient drop spindle, color the fiber with natural dyes and weave it on back strap looms. An average of 400 hours of women’s work goes into each weaving!

Natural Colors from Local Plants and the Sea

Textiles feature the blues and blacks of indigo, red cochineal, and the sacred Mixtec purple dye tixinda that is extracted from a rare, nearly extinct sea snail. The color represents the divine feminine and fertility, a harvest is guided by the Moon!  Pinotepa de Don Luis is the last place on earth where only 15 men, most over the age of 60, risk their lives and brave powerful waves along Oaxaca’s rocky coastline to lovingly extract the purple tixinda dye without killing the snail.  

Wearables: Face-Masks, Huipiles, Shawls and More

Our beautiful, three-ply face masks make great stocking stuffers! A lovely shawl or table runner can dress up the holidays. Waist-length cropped blusas and longer huipiles add pizzazz to daily or special occasion wear. Even during the pandemic, we can create beauty in our lives by wearing something handmade.

$600 USD. Indigo, cochineal, coyuchi and rare purple tixinda. Woven by 48-year-old Lula. 30″ wide by 43″ long

As we celebrate the holidays in small bubbles of family and friends, we can express our love for Oaxaca by supporting her talented weavers. Our purchases give indigenous women the opportunity to stay in their villages and work from their homes, for themselves, instead of migrating without documentation to become cleaning and service industry help.

As an immigrant rights attorney, the reverse migration aspects of this work are what draws me to it, not to mention that I am an unabashed cross-cultural cross-dresser! Since the pandemic hit, I have received more and more requests to help indigenous artisans go to the US to make a living. Instead, let’s join together this Holiday Season and help them stay home and stay safe!

$300 USD. Woven on back-strap loom this tunic can be worn with pants or skirts. It has an indigo background and the Mixtec designs are in the rare purple tixinda dye and the brown coyuchi cotton. 100% cotton.

*Mexican Dreamweavers is a reverse migration project of La Abogada del Pueblo,Inc.,  a registered 501(c)(3). All donations are tax deductible!

To help ensure that these artisans and their textile traditions survive this pandemic, Dreamweavers has adapted to changing times and we invite you all to visit our

$700 USD. Hand-spun native brown coyuchi cotton with cochineal. 40″ wide x 47″ long

Introducing Taller Teñido a Mano Natural Dye Textiles For Sale

I’m doing my best these days from my little apartment in Durham, North Carolina, to help promote Oaxaca artisans, primarily those who work in textiles. Today, I am excited to announce that I am representing the work from the natural dye studio Taller Teñido a Mano located in downtown Oaxaca city.

See below for photos and prices:

  • 3 beautiful designer wool rugs, tapestries for floor or wall (ONE LEFT)
  • 10 indigo-dyed face masks, size medium (SOLD OUT)
  • 3 canvas and leather market bags, sturdy, lined, gorgeous
SOLD. Last One: Buy it NOW for $12 plus $6 mailing. SOLD OUT!
SOLD. #1: Indigo, cochineal, wild marigold, natural grey sheep wool, 23″w x 36-1/2″L, $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 per package for cost of mailing. Please be sure to select Send Money to Family and Friends!

#2: Indigo, cochineal, natural gray sheep wool, 23″w x 36-1/2″ L, $295

The studio creates textiles using only natural dyes from local sources: indigo, wild marigold, mahogany bark, pomegranate, cochineal, and more. Color variations are also achieved using overdyes. For example, green tones come from dipping in a wild marigold dye bath and then again in an indigo dye bath. Gray tones are achieved when the dyer uses a cast iron pot which creates a ferrous oxide chemical reaction.

SOLD. #3: Indigo, cochineal, natural gray sheep wool, 23″w x 36-1/2″ L, $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!

THREE CANVAS MARKET BAGS WITH LEATHER

3 Sturdy Canvas Market Bags, Lined, Natural Dyes with Leather

There are so many uses for these sturdy, beautiful canvas and leather bags: market, beach, go-anywhere tote. Even use it as an overnight bag. These are beautifully crafted with excellent finish work. The solid leather handles are attached with brass grommets. The lining has two inside pockets, one with a zipper. The outside pouch is leather and is big enough to hold a cell phone. An elegant, practical shopping bag. Double straps are 28″ long — long enough to sling over your shoulder comfortably.

The studio also dyes cotton threads and hand-spun wool yarn that they sell to knitters and weavers. All pieces are unique and one-of-a-kind. Because of their handmade quality, there is variegation in the dyes and some imperfections.

#4: Mahogany-dyed canvas, leather pocket and base. 20″ w x 19″ h. $225
#5 (L) 18×20, pomegranate in iron oxide pot, with pomegranate/indigo over-dye base. #6 (R) is also 18×20, pomegranate in iron oxide pot, with wild marigold base. $195 each.
Each bag is lined, with two inside pouches, one with zipper

INDIGO-DYED FACE MASKS

Indigo-dyed face masks, $15 each. 2 left.
Canvas, indigo dyed, face mask, $15 each

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!

Beautifully sewn face masks with solid blue lining

We have a no returns/no refunds policy. Thank you for understanding. All proceeds are sent immediately and directly to artisans.

Collector’s Edition: Oaxaca and Chiapas Textile Sale

Today I am offering 9 treasures from my collection for sale. These are pieces I have never or rarely worn. They live in my Durham, NC, closet. Many of you know that I am now walking 8,000 to 10,000 steps at least four times a week and have maintained size small for almost two years. These beautiful clothes are now way too big for me to wear. I’ve decided it is time for these pieces to be with others who appreciate them as much as I do.

To Buy: Send me an email — norma.schafer@icloud.com with your name, address, and item number. I will send you a PayPal invoice to pay with credit card. Please be sure to use the payment optionsending to family and friends.” Once I receive your funds, I will mail via USPS to anywhere in the USA.  I will add on $12 for mailing to the invoice. Thank you VERY much.

#1 Pencil huipil with fuchsine dye, 24-3/4″ wide x 37-1/2″ long, $325

#1 is from the Oaxaca coast in Santiago Ixtlayutla, near Pinotepa de Don Luis. It uses fuchsine dye, which locals call “cochineal” but it isn’t! It actually creates a more purple stain on cotton cloth that then bleeds intentionally into the base fabric. Fine silk thread is woven as the supplementary weft creating the figures in the cotton cloth. It is the silk that takes the dye after the piece is finished. The style is to dye and fold the cloth, soaking it in water so that the dye runs into patterns that are mirrored into the surrounding cloth. Those of us who know these textiles, covet and cherish them. The finishing joinery stitches on this one are very secure and fine.

All fuchsine-dyed garments are rare and collectible!

SOLD. #2. Fine gauze cotton blusa with fuchsine dye, 30″ wide x 27″ long, $245

Notes from Traditional Innovation in Oaxaca Textiles: There is another colour that can be found in several textiles from Oaxaca: fuchsia. The costume of men and women from the Mixtec town of Santiago Ixtayutla use locally-raised silk from San Mateo Peñasco, where silk is dyed with fuchsine, a magenta dye invented in mid-19th century which chemical composition is rosaniline hydrochloride. Since these dyes arrived in Mexico during the second half of the 19th c., weavers started using them: they were quick to use and cheap to obtain.

#3. Fuchsine shawl, 24″ wide x 84″ long including fringes, $285
SOLD. #4. Gauze Blouse from Venustiano Carranza, Chiapas, $145

SOLD. #4 is from the warm, humid coastal region of Venustiano Carranza, Chiapas, where lightweight hand-woven textiles are preferred. This is fine cotton woven on a back-strap loom. The colorful figures uses synthetically-dyed cotton in the supplementary weft. Measures 25″ wide x 25-1/2 long — size L-XL.

SOLD. #5. Olive and Rust Poncho, Chiapas, $165, one size

SOLD. #5 is woven on a back-strap loom in a Chiapas village of medium-weight cotton, hand-tied fringes. The design is incorporated in the weaving using the supplementary weft technique. It is not embroidered!

SOLD. #5, Poncho detail.
SOLD. #6. B&W Poncho, Oxchuc, Chiapas, $185, one-size

SOLD. #6 is a medium-weight cotton poncho with hot red needle work down the front to join the two pieces of cloth together. This is an unusual piece because of the texture of two different weaving styles used in the cloth (it does not have a seam). The front of the piece is shorter, hanging hip length and the back hangs longer to cover the rear!

SOLD. #6. B&W poncho detail.
SOLD. #7. Simply Beautiful Alderwood Dyed Poncho, $295, one size

SOLD. #7 was purchased from Remigio Mestas’ Oaxaca city shop Los Baules de Juana Cata. He is cited as a top authority on Oaxaca textiles, and offers only the finest woven and naturally dyed fabrics for sale, created by the best weavers. The dye is called Palo de Aguila, which translates to Alderwood, and is found in the Sierra Mixe of Oaxaca.

SOLD. #7 Alderwood-dyed poncho detail.
SOLD. #8 Indigo + Purple Snail Dye Oaxaca Blusa, 26-1/2″wide x 28-1/2″long, $285

SOLD. #8 is from the back-strap loom weaving village of Pinotepa de Don Luis. There is a very fine young weaver there named Sebastiana Guzman Hernandez. She was educated and worked as an engineer but preferred to weave and rescue her family’s indigenous traditions. I purchased this huipil from her workshop studio in the village. She dyes the indigo and buys the caracol purpura threads from the few local dyers who collect the rare purple snail dye from the Oaxaca coast.

SOLD. #9. Embroidered blouse, Chiapas, 21″ wide x 29″ long, $95

SOLD. #9 is a slinky blouse, machine embroidery on polyester, with see-through eyelet detail from Zinacantan, Chiapas. It is not hemmed because traditional women will tuck this inside their wrap-around skirts.

#9 Eyelet and embroidery detail.

Japan Blue: Textile Study Tour to Mt. Fuji Indigo Studio

The Japan Textile Study Tour is filling up. We are a small group, limited to 10 people, and there are 4 spaces remaining! If you are thinking about coming with us to Japan, please don’t wait much longer.

Japanese ikat, indigo dye

I have confirmed plans to visit a noted Japanese national treasure, a textile artist who works in indigo, known as Japan Blue. Her studio is at the foot of Mt. Fuji near Lake Kawaguchi. We will spend a good part of the day with her, dyeing with indigo in her studio.

Variety of indigo cloth

I have explained to her that we are visitors who understand and appreciate the art of indigo dyeing. I am told that our dye master is very selective about who visits her and welcomes anyone who understands and appreciates her art. 

Indigo colored dye equipment

We will have a several hour immersion experience with her as we learn about her dye process and participate ourselves in dyeing pure cotton cloth that she will provide. Since she is very serious about what she does, she asks that we participate fully rather than just coming to visit and observe. I have promised her that we are coming to honor the age-old tradition of indigo dyeing in Japan, and honor her work as a serious artist and dyer. 

The man who is helping me put this experience together is Japanese, a Harvard graduate, and he will serve as our guide and translator for our time at Mt. Fuji. He tells me the following:

The dye master is “living” with 4 pots of indigos in her small atelier, and she cares for her indigos like her pots 24/7 — like they are her babies!

During cherry blossom season

In order to create the exact colors she needs in her art works, she precisely controls the fermentation of each of 4 indigo pots during the production processes of her art works. When she is preparing art works for big exhibition events, she pays special attention to the fermentation status of the indigo.

That is the basic reason why she does not usually provide easy-going, superficial “experience” programs for travelers; it will damage her indigos. From her artist’s point of view, she believes that brief“experience” programs that are business-focused and the art creation profession cannot co-exist.

Traditional indigo dye vats

What makes this indigo dye master’s art unique can be summarized into several points.

  1. She is “building” indigo exactly in the same traditional way as the artisans back in 17th and 18th centuries.
  2. She uses traditional fermented indigo grass which is now only produced in limited supply from Tokushima Prefecture.
  3. She utilizes timber ash NOT sodium carbonate for the fermentation in the pots. To obtain good quality timber ash, she must use a wood-stove in her daily life.
Vintage indigo katazome cloth

So, our dye master is literally “living” with indigos.

She believes this was one of the most important aspects of traditional “Japan Blue” – artisans fed, cared for and raised indigo like it is their baby! They literally lived with indigos.

Our dye master is an artist first and foremost. She is creating contemporary art utilizing traditional indigos.

After the advent of chemical dyeing productions, and also Japanese apparel culture being westernized, traditional indigo dyeing has lost its position in the dyeing industry. But, our dye master believes that there must be artistic expressions which only “Japan Blue” can make. She is committed to proving that traditional “Japan Blue” can existent as a way of artistic expression in an era of high technology and streamlined processes. This is the only way that traditional “Japan Blue” can survive into the next generation.

To our best knowledge, there are no artisans or artists who are incorporating all of this.

Meiji period vest

We will be one of the few groups that our dye master will accept into her atelier, and let us “use” her indigo. We will have a unique opportunity to dye with Japan Blue and have our own piece of art to take with us.

She asks that if we appreciate what she does, we can also purchase her art work ONLY IF we like it! 

We now have 6 people registered to come with me and Nathan Somers, a North Carolina indigo dye master, on this Japanese textile adventure. I will accept no more than 10 people. If you know of anyone else who would like to join us, please ask them to contact me. It is important that we have a small group experience that is meaningful for each of us.

Nathan, with a vintage indigo textile from his collection