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Norma Writes for Selvedge Magazine Issues #89 + #109
Creating Connection and 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
We Contribute Two Chapters!
Meet Makers. Make a DifferenceOaxaca 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.
Select Clients *Abeja Boutique, Houston *Selvedge Magazine-London, UK *Esprit Travel and Tours *Penland School of Crafts *North Carolina State University *WARP Weave a Real Peace *Methodist University *MINNA-Goods *Smockingbird Kids *MINNA *University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Tell us how we can put a program together for you! Send an email firstname.lastname@example.org
- WEAVE Podcast: Oaxaca Coast Textiles & Tour
- NY Times, Weavers Embrace Natural Dye Alternatives
- NY Times, Open Thread–Style News
- NY Times, 36-Hours: Oaxaca, Mexico
- Cooking Classes–El Sabor Zapoteco
- Currency Converter
- Fe y Lola Rugs by Chavez Santiago Family
- Friends of Oaxaca Folk Art
- Hoofing It In Oaxaca Hikes
- Living Textiles of Mexico
- Mexican Indigenous Textiles Project
- Museo Textil de Oaxaca
- Oaxaca Lending Library
- Oaxaca Weather
- Taller Teñido a Mano Natural Dyes
Quechequemitl Pattern: Sew Your Own Pull-over Shoulder Cover
Say KECH-KEH-MEE. Here’s a textile museum definition of quechquemitl?
Some people call it a shawl. It isn’t. Others say it’s a poncho. It isn’t. It’s not a scarf … exactly. It’s two pieces of rectangular cloth sewn together at a counterintuitive place for the likes of me, finished with a bound hem or some fancy crotched edging or fringes to become an elegant summer drape over a sleeveless dress. A wool one does just fine in winter to keep necks and shoulders snuggy warm.
Women from Mexico handy with needle and thread embellished their quechquemitls with incredible embroidery and fringes. Some patterns were woven into the cloth as it was formed on the loom.
Today, I finally got to the piece of Tenancingo ikat handwoven cloth I bought a few weeks ago in the Tlacolula market. I don’t crochet, but I do sew (when there’s time). I find it very relaxing and creative!
First, I started with two pre-washed and dried pieces of cloth, 14-1/2″ wide x 27″ long. Here’s the pattern I took a photo of at the Museo Textil de Oaxaca where their show featuring quechquemitls is a knock-out. Images above are from the show.
Two pieces of equal size.
Sew together at the dotted line. I used a sewing machine.
Here’s the tricky part — where to connect the remaining seam. Do you see it? The short edge connects to the long side. The dotted line in Diagram 4 below shows you where the stitching line is located.
Wearing the finished product and trying to take a photo of it! I don’t have a suitable model or mannequin. On the right, I pieced it together with pins before sewing. Here’s the prototype sample (below left) at the Museo Textil de Oaxaca.
Then, I discovered, there’s an entirely different way to sew the pieces together, so there’s a flap at the neck opening. See if you can figure this one out (below).
There wasn’t a diagram.
This handy little cover-up is great for the beach, pool, or to keep your shoulders protected from the sun. When I wear it in a V, it doubles for a nicely draping scarf. Some indigenous women even wear theirs on their heads.
Let me know if you make one and send me photos of how yours turned out.
Posted in Clothing Design, Cultural Commentary, Oaxaca Mexico art and culture, Textiles, Tapestries & Weaving, Travel & Tourism
Tagged blogsherpa, Ikat, indigenous clothing, Mexico, Oaxaca, pattern, poncho, postaweek2011, quechquemitl, rebozo, Sewing, shawl, textiles