Brisaida is one of my favorite weavers from San Juan Colorado, on Oaxaca’s Costa Chica, that stretch of land along the Pacific Coast extending from Puerto Escondido north to Acapulco. We visit her on our Oaxaca Coast Textile Study Tour. She contacted me last week to appeal for help. She has some amazing huipiles and blusas available for sale. I said, sure, I’ll help you! Finding buyers for extraordinary work is the biggest challenge that indigenous weavers face. Most speak only a native language and without Spanish, markets elude them and they depend on middlemen who often pay less than the value of a textile and the work women put into making them.
Whatever sells in the next 10 days, Brisaida will package up and ship to me. This takes about a week to arrive in Taos. I’ll then package up what you choose and mail to you. I’d like to receive all that sells in one bundle to minimize shipping cost. So, please make your selections by April 28. Thank you.
We have 13 amazing pieces to offer you. They are all hand-woven on the back-strap loom, created from naturally dyed cotton. Dyes include Brazilwood, mahogany bark, raw and fermented indigo, guava, iron oxide, and wild marigold. Much of the cotton threads are hand-spun on the malacate (drop spindle) from locally sourced native cotton, grown since pre-Hispanic times. What you are purchasing is a piece of art! In doing so, you support a woman from a small indigenous community who has little opportunity to sell her work. Women here struggle to support their families with cash income when the men in their families are subsistence farmers who have no commercial outlet for their produce — everyone here grows corn, beans, and squash to feed their kin — when men stay! Most have left for employment in larger Mexican cities or risk their lives to go to El Norte with a coyote ($3-4,000 USD cost) to enter the USA as undocumented labor. It’s not an easy life. We have an opportunity to help!
How to Buy: Send an email to email@example.com and tell me the item(s) you want to purchase by number, your email, your mailing address, your phone number, and which payment method you prefer: 1) Zelle bank transfer with no service fee; 2) Venmo or 3) PayPal each with a 3.3% service fee. Please send me your account name or number! I will send you a request for funds and then add on a $14 mailing fee. Happy to combine shipping if you buy more than one piece. These are one-of-a-kind. Note: Thank you for understanding that all sales are final. Please measure carefully.
SOLD. #1. Mahogany and raw indigo. Raw indigo has not been fermented. The leaves are rubbed on the cotton to give us a lovely fresh green color. 42″ long x 28″ wide. $345 plus mailing.
SOLD 2. Rainbow of natural colors with indigo and wild marigold brocade* embellished with hearts. 42″ long x 31″ wide. $345 plus mailing.
SOLD #3. Mahogany bark, guava, iron oxide and Brazilwood. 38″ long x 31″ wide. $345 plus mailing.
SOLD. #4. Pinole seeds and bark with indigo. 43″ long x 30″ wide. $345 plus mailing.
SOLD. #5. Mahogany, indigo, and natural white cotton. 34″ long x 30″ wide. $345 plus mailing.
SOLD. 6. Mahogany, iron oxide, and natural white. 34″ long x 30″ wide. $345 plus mailing.
SOLD. #7 Guava, Brazilwood, and natural white. 35″ long x 28″ wide. $298 plus mailing.
SOLD. #8. Subtle rainbow base cloth with indigo, mahogany, and white brocade. 34″ long x 29″ wide. $298 plus mailing.
SOLD. #9. Raw indigo and multi-color base cloth with multi-colored bordado. 32″ long x 29″ wide. $298 plus mailing.
SOLD. #10. Wild marigold, indigo, and mahogany. 29″ long x 26″ wide. $275 plus mailing.
SOLD. 11. Brazilwood, indigo and natural white. 26″ long x 29″ wide. $255 plus mailing.
SOLD. 12. Rainbow Rayas. 26″ long x 25″ wide. $245 plus mailing.
SOLD. #13. Brazilwood. 30″ long x 25″ wide. $245 plus mailing.
Care Instructions: Hand wash with a mild soap (Fels Naptha or Zote — do not use Woolite) and hang to dry. Press with a warm iron, if desired.
*About the Cloth: The cotton threads may have been grown locally, cleaned, beaten to smooth the fibers, and then hand-spun using the malacate (drop spindle). Weavers also use top quality, fine Omega thread sourced from the last cotton mill in Puebla, Mexico, and then dyed at home with local plants. The designs and patterns embellished in the cloth are made with the brocade (bordado) technique of adding threads into the woven cloth using the supplementary weft technique. These garments are perfect for spring, summer and fall, or layer them over an insulated T-shirt for winter dressing to add color to your life during the dark days. The pieces range from medium weight to gauze weave, giving us cloth that is breathable and luxurious for warm and hot weather.
Meet Brisaida. She is in her 30’s. I’m with her in San Juan Colorado in late January. Yes, she wove what I’m wearing and of course, it’s now part of my collection! Brisaida embodies the heritage of many Mexican women along the coast whose heritage stems from indigenous Mixtec roots mixed with the Afro-Mexican slave experience and their quest for freedom beyond the mines, sugar cane fields of Veracruz, and entrapment.
Arrive on Saturday, January 13 and depart on Monday, January 22, 2024 — 9 nights, 10 days in textile heaven!
We go deep, and not wide. We give you an intimate, connecting experience. We spend time to know the culture. You will meet artisans in their homes and workshops, enjoy local cuisine, dip your hands in an indigo dye-bath, and travel to remote villages you may never get to on your own. This study tour focuses on revival of ancient textile techniques and Oaxaca’s vast weaving culture that encompasses the use of natural dyes, back-strap loom weaving, drop spindle hand spinning, and glorious, pre-Hispanic native cotton in warm brown called coyuchi, verde (green) and creamy white. We cover vast distances on secondary roads, traveling to secluded mountain villages. This tour is for the most adventurous textile travelers! For hardy travelers only!
At Oaxaca Cultural Navigator, we aim to give you an unparalleled and in-depth travel experience to participate and delve deeply into indigenous culture, folk art and celebrations. To register, please complete the Registration Form and email it to us. When you tell us you are ready to register, we will send you a request to make your reservation deposit.
Cost is $3,395 per person shared room or $4,195 per person for private room. See details and itinerary below.
Villages along the coast and neighboring mountains were able to preserve their traditional weaving culture because of their isolation. The Spanish could not get into those villages until the late 18th century. Much now is the same as it was then. Stunning cotton is spun and woven into lengths of cloth connected with intricate needlework to form amazing garments. Beauty and poverty are twin sisters here.
What we do:
We visit 7 weaving villages in Oaxaca and Guerrero
We meet back-strap loom weavers, natural dyers, spinners
We see, touch, smell native Oaxaca cotton — brown, green, natural
We participate in a sea turtle release with sunset dinner on the beach
We swim in a rare bioluminescence lagoon
We visit three local markets to experience daily life
We travel to remote regions to discover amazing cloth
We learn about Afro-Mexican identity on the Pacific Coast
We support indigenous artisans directly
We escape WINTER in El Norte
Take this study tour to learn about:
the culture, history, and identity of cloth
beating and spinning cotton, and weaving with natural dyes
native seed preservation and cultivation
clothing design and construction, fashion adaptations
symbols and meaning of regional textile designs
choice of colors and fibers that show each woman’s aesthetic while keeping with a particular village traje or costume
the work of women in pre-Hispanic Mexico and today
Saturday, January 13: Fly to Puerto Escondido—overnight in Puerto Escondido, Group Welcome Dinner at 6:30 p.m. Meals included: Dinner
Sunday, January 14: Puerto Escondido market meander, lunch, and afternoon on your own. Late afternoon departure for turtle release and Manialtepec bioluminescence lagoon with beach dinner. Overnight in Puerto Escondido. Meals included: Breakfast and dinner
Monday, January 15: Depart after breakfast for Tututepec to visit a young Mixtec weaver who is reviving his village’s textile traditions, visit local museum and murals. We will enjoy a home-cooked meal with a regional mole dish prepared by the family. Travel by van several hours north to Ometepec, Guerrero. Overnight in Ometepec. Meals included: Breakfast and lunch
Tuesday, January 16: After breakfast, we go to Zacoalpan, a bygone Amusgo village where Jesus Ignacio and his family weave native coyuchi, green and natural white cotton to make traditional huipiles. They are rescuing designs from fragments of ancient cloth. Then, we have lunch in nearby Xochistlahuaca with an outstanding weaving cooperative that creates glorious, diaphanous textiles embellished with a palette of colorful designs reflecting the flora of the region. Overnight in Ometepec.
Wednesday, January 17: After breakfast, we visit downtown Ometepec , then make a stop at the Afro-Mexican Museum to learn about the rich cultural history and traditions of the region populated by Mexicans whose roots are from Africa and the slave trade. We continue to Pinotepa Nacional for a late lunch and to check into our hotel. Enjoy an expoventa and demonstration with embroiderers. Overnight in Pinotepa Nacional. Meals included: Breakfast and lunch.
Thursday, January 18: After breakfast, we explore the Pinotepa Nacional market, the largest in the region, where you may find hand-woven agave fiber tote bags, masks, textiles, and embroidered collars, as well as household goods and food. Then, we travel about an hour to the weaving village of San Juan Colorado for a home cooked lunch and visit two women’s cooperatives working in natural dyes, hand-spinning, and back strap loom weaving. Overnight in Pinotepa Nacional. Meals included: Breakfast and lunch
Friday, January 19: After breakfast, we go back up the mountain to the village of Pinotepa de Don Luis to meet noted weavers who work with naturally dyed cotton. Here, we will see jicara gourd carvers, too, who make jewelry and serving containers. We have lunch with Tixinda Cooperative members who are licensed to harvest the purple snail dye. In this village, the almost extinct caracol purpura snail is the traditional color accent for many textiles. Overnight in Pinotepa Nacional. Meals included: Breakfast and lunch
Saturday, January 20: After breakfast, we begin our return to Puerto Escondido, a two-and-a-half-hour van ride. The rest of the day is on your own to explore, relax and pack. Lunch and dinner on your own. Overnight in Puerto Escondido. Meals included: Breakfast
Sunday, January 21: This is a free day to return to the market, pack, relax and enjoy the beach across the street from the hotel, or the two swimming pools on the property. We gather at 5:30 p.m. for our Grand Finale Celebration Dinner. Overnight in Puerto Escondido. Meals included: Breakfast and dinner
Monday, January 22: Depart for home. Meals included: None
Note: You can add days on to the tour — arrive early or stay later — at your own expense. We also suggest you arrive a day early (your own hotel expense) to avoid any unforeseen winter flight delays.
Cost to Participate
$3,395 shared double room with private bath (sleeps 2)
$4,195 for a single supplement (private room and bath, sleeps 1)
Your Oaxaca Cultural Navigator: Eric Chavez Santiago
Eric Chavez Santiago is a Oaxaca Cultural Navigator partner with Norma Schafer. He joined us in 2022. Eric is an expert in Oaxaca and Mexican textiles and folk art with a special interest in artisan development and promotion. He is a weaver and natural dyer by training and a fourth-generation member of a distinguished weaving family, the Fe y Lola textile group. He and his wife Elsa Sanchez Diaz started Taller Teñido a Mano dye studio where they produce naturally dyed yarn skeins and textiles for worldwide distribution. He is trilingual, speaking Zapotec, Spanish and English and is a native of Teotitlan del Valle. He is a graduate of Anahuac University, founder of the Museo Textil de Oaxaca education department, and former managing director of the Harp Helu Foundation folk-art gallery Andares del Arte Popular. He has intimate knowledge of local traditions, culture, and community and personally knows all the artisans we visit on this tour.
Oaxaca Cultural Navigator Founder Norma Schafer may participate in all or part of this tour.
We have invited a noted cultural anthropologist to travel with us. She did her thesis in a nearby textile village and has worked in the region for the past 15 years. She knows the textile culture and people intimately, too. Together, we learn about and discuss motifs, lifestyle, endangered species, quality, and value of direct support.
We sell out each year so don’t hesitate to make your registration deposit ASAP if you are interested in participating.
Anyone who loves cloth, culture, and collaboration
Full Registration Policies, Procedures and Cancellations– Please READ
Reservations and Cancellations. A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to guarantee your place. The balance is due in two equal payments. The second payment of 50% of the balance is due on or before August 1, 2023. The third payment, 50% balance, is due on or before November 1, 2023. We accept payment using Zelle, Venmo, PayPal or Square. For a Zelle transfer, there is no service fee. We add a 3% service fee to use Venmo, PayPal or Square. We will send you a request for funds to make your deposit when you tell us you are ready to register.
After November 1, 2023, there are no refunds. If you cancel on or before November 1, 2023, we will refund 50% of your deposit received to date (less the $500 non-refundable deposit). After that, there are no refunds UNLESS we cancel for any reason. If we cancel, you will receive a full 100% refund.*
Proof of insurance must be sent at least 45 days before departure.
About COVID. Covid is still with us and new variants continue to arise. We request proof of lastest COVID-19 vaccination and all boosters to be sent 45 days before departure. We ask that you test two days before traveling to the tour, and that you send us the results. During the tour, we ask that you do a self-test 48 hours after arrival and then periodically thereafter if you feel you have been exposed. Facemasks are strongly suggested for van travel, densely populated market visits, and artisan visits that are held indoors. We ask this to keep all travelers safe, and to protect indigenous populations who are at higher risk.
Be certain your passport has at least six months on it before it expires from the date you enter Mexico! It’s a Mexico requirement.
My friend Carol Egan from Savannah who has wintered in Oaxaca for almost 20 years uses the term Fiberista to describe those of us who love and wear (and who demonstrate cultural appreciation for) clothing made on the back-strap loom by the very talented indigenous weavers of Oaxaca. Carol is a graduate of RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) and she has an impeccable sense of color and style. Maybe Fiberista is an adaptation of Fashionista, a word that has been part of the Urban Dictionary vocabulary for a while, though likely applied mostly to those who follow haute couture. Fiberistas have an affinity for the handmade textile. We are sewists, knitters, dyers, designers, spinners, embroiderers, crocheters, weavers, photographers, artists, and artisans or we just appreciate the texture of beautiful cloth. We know we have something to learn from indigenous cultures.
Our mantra on the Oaxaca Coast Textile Study Tour is to gain a greater cultural appreciation for the women and men who make garments from scratch — the talented people who grow native Oaxaca green, white and coyuchi (brown) cotton that goes back to before the Spanish Conquest. This is why we visit remote mountain villages — to see the traditional techniques, uncover the designs (or iconography) in the woven patterns that are an integral part of the cloth, and to show our support by being able to purchase directly to put much needed funds into the hands of the makers.
Next Oaxaca Coast Textile Study Tour will be in mid-January 2024. Get on the interested list! Email us!
We don’t believe that we are appropriating another culture by wearing the garments they make. We believe we are supporting and sustaining women and families. Without our admiration and support, their ancient back-strap loom weaving art form will be lost to future generations. Today, not many women in traditional pueblos are wearing traditional traje (costumes). They have adopted Western-style dress, which enables them to fit in and assimilate into the larger, dominant community. This clothing, usually made with synthetic fibers, is easier to wash and dry, too. So, the huipiles we have gone in search of are brought out only for special celebrations. That is why our visits are so important.
It takes an extraordinary amount of labor to make one of these garments. First, the seeds are picked from the cotton bolls, to save for the next planting. Then, the cotton is beaten with sticks after it is laid on a rolled woven straw mat inside of which is stuffed corn stalks and leaves. It is then hand-spun with a malacate or drop spindle. If it is green or coyuchi cotton, both quite rare, it will be woven in its natural state and not dyed. Sometimes, the native white cotton is dyed with natural pigments — indigo, cochineal, wild marigold, or tree bark, for example. Fine commercial threads, purchased from the last cotton mill in the State of Puebla, will also be dyed. Then, it will be the man’s task to warp the back-strap loom. It usually takes a women three to four-months to make a complete full-length huipil, weaving five to six-hours per day. She will tie one end of the loom to a post or a tree, tie the waist harness around her, get on her knees or sit cross-legged, moving her body to create the weaving tension, swaying back and forth in a gentle motion.
We bring eye glasses with us to distribute. If the brocade or supplementary weft of the designs in the woven cloth is intricate, this takes a toll on a weaver’s vision. So many say they now have difficulty seeing. So, it is a blessing to be able to give reading glasses to the many groups in five communities we visit along our route from Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, north to Xochistlahuaca, Guerrero.
Think of fashion as an art form, extolls one source I researched. This is not difficult to do on the coast of Oaxaca, where diversity of weaving techniques, colors and designs tell stories of ancient myths and beliefs. Look at the stars, animals, sun, moon, plants woven into the cloth to learn about how rooted these communities are in the natural world and their social history. We embrace this as the world has become more commercialized, mechanized; as our attention spans have shortened with instant information and gratification, as we cannot leave our smart phones behind for even a minute. However, we are careful not to romanticize. The economic poverty is palpable. The talent is immeasurable.
We go deep into Mixtec, Zapotec, Chatino and Amusgo territory. We hear languages uncommon to our ear. We travel to villages where few who look like us dare to venture. Not because it isn’t safe, but because it takes hours to reach a remote destination. The Spanish friars never penetrated deeply into these mountain towns until the 18th century because they were so inaccessible. We are intrepid travelers who are interested in discovery!
What we find are people who want to educate their children, provide them with good food and health care, access to opportunity, who are not interested in out-migration unless all other options are closed to them. They want the same things that we do for our own families. And, this is what connects us.
Traditional indigenous clothing is not form fitting. It is lengths of squares or rectangles that are sewn together using a needlework joining technique called a randa, that looks a bit like embroidery. This means, the garment is not tight-fitting. It is loose and airy, and will drape beautifully if the woven fabric is lightweight. This is style we come to appreciate since this is a different look than we are used to. Sometimes, the skirt or dress can be tied with a belt. In all instances, the stand-out quality is not so much the structure of the garment but the weaving techniques used to create designs woven as an integral part of the cloth. The more complex and dense the design, the more costly a garment will be. Price is often related to the quality of the materials used — finest cotton and natural dyes are what we are looking for.
The experience broadens our view of how we dress ourselves. We know that the New York and Paris runways are not the only source for beautiful inspiration.
The day before our tour ended, we gathered under the palapa by the upper pool at Hotel Santa Fe, for a show and tell. We each brought three pieces we purchased along the way, and we wore one more. We then talked about the experience of where we got these, who wove them, what dyes were used, and what designs were incorporated into the cloth. It was a way to review our visits and to see others’ choices. Being Oaxaca Fiberistas!
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.
SOLD #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!
I am offering several rugs from my collection for sale! Why? They don’t fit into my Taos house. The sizes and colors are not adapting well to my new environment. Some are new. All are in excellent condition.
How to Buy: send an email to email@example.com and tell me the rug 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 then send you a request for funds.
Shipping cost is based on weight and destination, and is additional. I will need to know your address and determine weight to calculate mailing costs.
This new, never used rug is made by a master weaver in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca who is a personal friend. It took him two months to create this masterpiece. The colors are a mix of gray on a cream background. The edges where it was cut from the loom are finished with an intricate braiding technique. No fringes to get stuck in your vacuum cleaner. The Caracol design is the most difficult to achieve because of the curves. It is symbolic of communication and the frets have deep meaning regarding the continuity of life, interpreted from nearby Mitla archeological site. Tapestry woven rugs of this size and quality are retailing for between $2,800 and $3,200. I’m selling it for $1,800 plus shipping. I calculate shipping cost to be around $60 but I will let you know if you wish to purchase this.
This is woven at the Fe y Lola studio in Teotitlan del Valle of churra sheep wool colored with natural dyes the yellow comes from wild marigold a d it is paired with a warm natural gray wool the warp is sturdy cotton. The design is an innovative version of a traditional style. this rug usually sells for $510. You can buy it for $425.
This tapestry is made with all natural dyes and measures 2-1/3 ft x 3 ft. the wool is dyed with cochineal, moss, and wild marigold. It is very fine and dense weaving using 10 warp threads per inch. Retails for $450. Will sell for $325.
This rug has no wear and will surely provide pleasure and comfort for another two or three generations. Thick wool pile. Vintage. Outstanding. Last photo is reverse side of rug. Valued at between $600-800. Will sell for $385. This rug is heavy and I estimate shipping could be $75-100.
Thank you VERY much for looking. Let me know if you have any questions. Thank
Norma Writes for Selvedge Magazine Issues #89 + #109
Creating Connectionand Meaning between travelers and with indigenous artisans. Meet makers where they live and work. Join small groups of like-minded explorers. Go deep into remote villages. Gain insights. Support cultural heritage and sustainable traditions ie. hand weaving and natural dyeing. Create value and memories. Enjoy hands-on experiences. Make a difference.
What is a Study Tour: Our programs are designed as learning experiences, and as such we talk with makers about how and why they create, what is meaningful to them in their designs, the ancient history of patterning and design, use of color, tradition and innovation, values and cultural continuity, and the social context within which they work. First and foremost, we are educators. Norma worked in top US universities for over 35 years and Eric founded the education department at Oaxaca’s textile museum. We create connection and help artisans reach people who value them and their work.
Why We Left, Expat Anthology: Norma’s Personal Essay
Norma contributes personal essay, How Oaxaca Became Home
We Contribute Two Chapters!
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Meet Makers. Make a Difference
Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC has offered programs in Mexico since 2006. We have over 30 years of university, textile and artisan development experience. See About Us.
Programs can be scheduled to meet your independent travel plans. Send us your available dates.
Designers, retailers, wholesalers, curators, universities and others come to us to develop artisan relationships, customized itineraries, study abroad programs, meetings and conferences. It's our pleasure to make arrangements.
*Abeja Boutique, Houston
*Selvedge Magazine-London, UK
*Esprit Travel and Tours
*Penland School of Crafts
*North Carolina State University
*WARP Weave a Real Peace
*University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
We offer textile experiences in our studio where we weave and work only in natural dyes.You can see the process during our textile tours, dye workshops or customized weaving experiences. Ask us for more information about these experiences, customized scheduling, and prices.
One-Day Custom Tours: Tell Us When You Want to Go!
Oaxaca has the largest and most diverse textile culture in Mexico! Learn about it.
When you visit Oaxaca immerse yourself in our textile culture: How is indigenous clothing made, what is the best value, most economical, finest available. Suitable for adults only. Set your own dates.
New--Ruta del Mezcal One-Day Tour.We start the day with pottery, visiting a master, then have lunch with a Traditional Oaxaca Cook who is the master of mole making. In Mitla, we meet with our favorite flying shuttle loom weaver, and then finish off with a mezcal tasting at a palenque you will NEVER find on your own! Schedule at your convenience!
Go on all 3 Day of the Dead Tours -- Get a 10% Discount
October 27, 2023: Day of the Dead Ocotlan Highway Tour. It’s Market Day! The biggest of the year. See special altar food and decor, visit artisans, explore culture, eat at a traditional open air cocina de humo (grill kitchen).
October 29, 2023: Teotitlan del Valle Altars and Studio Visits to natural dye and weaving artisans who invite you to their altar rooms to share family traditions. Meet a traditional beeswax candlemaker. Eat mole and mezcal in a local family comedor.
January 13-21, 2024: Oaxaca Coast Textile Study Tour. Very popular! Get your deposit in to reserve. For intrepid travelers. Visit 7 back-strap loom weavers. Explore the culture of cloth and community. 4 SPACES OPEN!
We require 48-hour advance notice for map orders to be processed. We send a printable map via email PDF after your order is received. Please be sure to send your email address. Where to see natural dyed rugs in Teotitlan del Valle and layout of the Sunday Tlacolula Market, with favorite eating, shopping, ATMs. Click Here to Buy Map After you click, be sure to check PayPal to ensure your email address isn't hidden from us. We fulfill each map order personally. It is not automatic.
Dye Master Dolores Santiago Arrellanas with son Omar Chavez Santiago, weaver and dyer, Fey y Lola Rugs, Teotitlan del Valle