Monica contacted me this week and asked for help to sell her hand-woven, naturally dyed cotton huipiles and blusas. She is from the Oaxaca coast village of Pinotepa de Don Luis and is married to Rafael Avedaño, the son of the famed purple snail dyer Don Habacuc Avedaño. Rafa learned how to milk the purple snail from his father, extracting the dye and then putting the snail back into the water to regenerate. They dye the hand-spun native white cotton right there on the rocks along the tide pools near Huatulco. Monica is a master weaver and creates stunning, well made and airy garments perfect for the heat and humidity along the coast. Yes, it’s even hot there in January — the coolest month.
There are still many days left in summer and it’s likely that this heat we are experiencing will not let up for quite some time. A perfect time to adorn yourself in something hand made, sustainable, and elegant. These clothes are easy-to-wash-and-wear, and will allow your body to breathe while still looking fresh. Each one is one-of-a-kind! You know you are supporting a Oaxaca weaver directly when you purchase.
Here’s how it works: Monica sent me photos that I am posting here with dimensions and prices. Please order by August 12, 2023. You will pre-pay and I will add on $20 mailing cost. If you order more than one piece, I will combine mailing. Monica will then send me a package of all to take to the post office.
How to Buy: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Tell me the item you want by number. Send me your mailing address. Tell me how you want to pay and include your account name, email or phone number. Choose one of three ways.
You can pay one of three ways: 1) with Zelle (no service fee; 2) with Venmo or 3) with PayPal (3.5% service fee for either one). We will send a Request for Funds (tell us how your account is registered). The request will include the cost of the garment + $17 mailing. If you want more than one piece, I’m happy to combine mailing.
Please measure carefully. We are unable to accept returns since we will have already paid the artisans. Width is measured across the front. Length is measured from shoulder to hem. Thank you!
We need to dress lightly to be comfortable in this extraordinary heat. I brought these pieces back from Mexico when I returned in April, thinking they would be perfect for summer dressing, not realizing how much we now need lightly woven gauze cotton or beautifully embroidered linen to keep our bodies cool. We still want to look good when we go out or invite others in, and these blusas and huipiles fit these needs. Plus, they are easy care — wash in the machine on gentle using a mild soap (not Woolite, it leeches color) like Ivory. Then hang to dry. Press with a warm iron, if needed. There are 16 items. Be sure to scroll down to see everything!
How to Buy:Send me an email.Tell me the item you want by number. Send me your mailing address. Tell me how you want to pay. Choose one of four ways.
You can pay one of three ways: 1) with Zelle and no service fee; 2) with Venmo or 3) with PayPal or 4) with Square. If you choose either #2, #3, or #4, we add on a 3.5% service fee which is their charge to us. Tell us which payment method you prefer and how your account is registered (email, phone number, other?). We will send a Request for Funds to your account. The request will include the cost of the garment + $14 mailing. If you want more than one piece, I’m happy to combine mailing.
P.S. Please measure carefully. All sales are final. Why? Because we have already purchased and paid the artisan makers for these textiles at the price they set, doing our part for cultural continuation and sustainability.
#1. From San Juan Colorado, Oaxaca, handwoven on the back strap loom by Brisaida, this native white cotton is a loose weave. The blue is indigo dye, with designs achieved using the supplementary weft technique. Measures 22-1/2″ wide x 25″ long. $235.
#2 From Coban, northern Guatemala, where a tropical climate dictates that women weave very fine cotton. This, too, uses indigo dyed threads to achieve the designs in the cloth created using the supplementary weft technique. Measures 27″ wide x 35″ long. $295.
#3. From San Juan Chamula, Chiapas, a very fine white cotton blouse embroidered with blue trim. Easy wearing! Measures 23-1/2″ wide x 27″ long. $135.
SOLD #4. Egg yolk yellow cotton blouse handwoven on the back strap loom with an amazing embroidered collar from Pinotepa de Don Luis, Oaxaca. Measures 23″ wide x 26″ long. $95.
#5. Black on White embroidered blouse from San Antonino Castillo Velasco, Oaxaca, where they make the famous wedding dresses! A crop top for ultimate coolness. Measures 25″ wide x 23″ long. $165.
#6. San Juan Colorado, Oaxaca, huipil with natural dyes — wild marigold and logwood, handwoven on the back strap loom by Brisaida. Measures 30-1/2″ wide x 30 ” long. $265.
#7. White on White blusa woven in Pinotepa de Don Luis with rare purple snail dye trim around neckline and collar. Measures 22″ wide x 26″ long. $185.
#8. Pale yellow linen blouse with the finest embroidery I’ve ever seen, made in Chiapas. Measures 23-1/2″ wide x 24″ long. $135.
#9. This quechquemitl, which is a native Mexican design, is like a short poncho. You put it on over your head. This one is handwoven on the back strap loom in Venustiano Carranza, Chiapas, a light cover-up to embellish your dressing. Measures 35″ wide x 31″ long. $145.
SOLD. #10. Handwoven cotton blouse with supplementary weft designs from the Triqui group in Oaxaca’s Mixteca Alta. Measures 20″ wide x 24″ long. $110.
SOLD. #11. This blouse from San Juan Guichicovi, Oaxaca, is cotton woven on the treadle loom and decorated in free-form machine embroidery. It measures 21″ wide x 23″ long. $145.
SOLD. #12. From San Juan Colorado, a White on White blouse with a beautiful square collar, perfectly executed on the back strap loom Measures 24-1/2″ wide x 24-1/2″ long. $165.
#13. San Juan Chamula, Chiapas, embroidered blouse on very fine cotton. Measures 24″ wide x 24″ long. $135.
SOLD #14. San Juan Chamula, Chiapas, embroidered blouse, similar to the one above. This is a somewhat lighter color way. Measures 24″ wide x 26″ long. $135.
SOLD. #15. All natural dyes are what makes this Triqui huipil very special. It incorporates cochineal, wild marigold, indigo, and tree bark. It measures 25″ wide x 35″ long. $295.
SOLD. #16. A turquoise blusa embellished with sparkly threads in the supplementary weft design, from Venustiano Carranza, Chiapas, where tropical weather dictates a lighter weave. Measures 23″ wide x 24″ long. $125
Thank you for looking and shopping. Buy today and I will mail on Wednesday, July 26. Otherwise I will mail on August 4.
Janet Chávez Santiago from Teotitlan del Valle is with me now in Taos. We were together last week in Nashville for a pop-up sale of Fe y Lola Rugs from Oaxaca. Then, we flew to Denver to visit friends and drive to Northern New Mexico early Thursday morning to return in time for me to do a reading at the Taos literary society, SOMOS. I received word on Friday that my essay, Lipstick, was accepted for publication in Minerva Rising Press. Another outlet for creativity!
I’ve been going through the textiles I brought back with me from Oaxaca and Chiapas in April and now want to offer them for sale. These are new and have not been listed before. Many are perfect for the hot weather in most places through the US. Stay cool with these finely woven gauzy huipiles and blusas.
How to Buy: Write to email@example.com Tell me the item you want by number. Send me your mailing address. Tell me how you want to pay. Choose one of three ways.
You can pay one of three ways: 1) with Zelle and no service fee; 2) with Venmo or 3) with PayPal. If you choose either #2 or #3, we add on a 3.5% service fee which is their charge to us, and we will send a Request for Funds. We need your account information, either a phone number or email address or Venmo name. The request will include the cost of the garment + $14 mailing charge. We are happy to combine orders.
SOLD #1. Pinotepa de Don Luis weaver Viridiana created this pericone, purple snail dye, and indigo huipil. Very rare combination. It measures 27″ wide x 37″ long. All natural cotton. Beautiful drape. $395.
#2. This is a fuchsine dyed huipil from Pinotepa de Don Luis, very fine hand weaving on the back strap loom. it is silk and cotton. The silk takes the dye and the bleeding is an intentional part of the design. It is 32″ wide x 39″ long. Very collectible. $595.
SOLD. #3. From the village of San Felipe Usila in the Papoalpan region of Oaxaca that borders the Gulf of Mexico, this finely woven white on cream huipil is perfect for summer dressing. It measures 27″ wide x 36-1/2″ long. $295.
#4. Peach colored huipil from Xochistlahuaca, Guerrero is an Amusgo design that is hand woven with natural dyes. It measures 28″ wide x 34″ long. $155.
SOLD. #5. San Juan Colorado huipil from the Oaxaca Coast. Finely woven indigo with gourd dyed designs. Measures 31″ wide x 34″ long. $295.
#6. Dyed with wild marigold and brazilwood, this huipil from San Juan Colorado measures 30″ wide x 30″ long. $265.
SOLD. #7. An indigo crop-top from San Juan Colorado, dyed with indigo, tree bark and including native white cotton, with lovely crocheted detailing. Measures 28″ wide x 18-1/2″ long. $125.
Now for the Bath Mat Close-Out. I ordered these from a weaver felt-maker in San Juan Chamula, Chiapas. I thought they would make amazing furry bath mats or to use at the kitchen sink. I’m reducing them to the cost I paid for them, since I won’t be reordering these. Please choose by number.
Each one is $145 plus mailing. All hand-woven and then felted with the weaver’s feet who dances on the textile to felt it.
I might be able to get these to you by Christmas if you order by tomorrow—though no guarantees! Depending on the USPS. This a mix of pottery, alebrijes, exvotos, holiday attire, and more — most never before offered.
How to Buy: Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org 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% service fee. I will send you a request for funds and then add on a mailing fee depending on the size box needed. 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.
#1. Hand-painted pottery candlesticks from Amantenango, Chiapas. Quack Quack, add elegant whimsy to your holiday table setting. (Candles and drip protectors not included.) 9″ high x 7″ long. $185.
#2. Carved wood and painted alebrije from San Martin Tilcajete: Pregnant donkey piano player! 10″ high x 3-1/2″ wide. Signed Miguel Diaz. $125.
#3. Huichol string art wall-hanging. 6″ square. $60.
SOLD. #4. Howling Dog alebrije. Carved and painted copal wood from Candido Perez, San Martin Tilcajete. 12″ high x 12″ long to tip of tail. Tail has been repaired, but not noticeable. $72.
#5. Casildo Rodriguez is grateful he escaped his fate in Oaxaca by making an offering of this retablo or ex-voto. His donkey turned into a monster! Hand-painted ex-voto on metal, reproduction, by contemporary Mexico City artist Rafael Rodriguez. 12″ wide x 9-1/2″ high. $125.
#6. Frida Kahlo Catrina hand-painted pottery sculpture. Perfect for next Day of the Dead or whenever! 8-1/2″ high x 3″ wide at the base. $85.
SOLD. #7. Tzintzuntzan, Lake Patzcuaro, Michoacan, intricate embroidery shirt telling the story of daily life of farmers and fishermen around the lake. By famed textile artisan Teofila Servin Barriga. Measures 22″ wide x 26″ long. Sleeves are 24-1/2″ long from the shoulder seam. Price reduced from $275 to $185.
#8. Hand-painted enamel gourd from Oaxaca, perfect for holiday serving — fruit, bread, chocolate, candy, crackers — you name it. Add pizzaz to your table! $56
#9. Embroidered in Zinacantan, Chiapas, a bodice filled with flowers. Tuck it in to a skirt, jeans, slacks for bling dressing this season. 23″ wide x 29″ long. $65.
#10. Hand-woven palm basket from Oaxaca’s Mixtec region. So many possible uses: hold towel, bath tissue, winter scarves, hats and gloves, magazines, laundry, etc. 14″ high x 12″ wide. $62.
#11. Rare Vintage Ex-voto from the 1930’s. Hand-painted on tin. A true folk art find that I’m willing to part with from my collection. 11″ wide x 6-1/2″ high. $295.
SOLD. #12. Hand-carved and painted mask from Tocuaro, Michoacan. The best of Mexico’s mask-makers live here! Signed Felipe Horta. Masks were used in pre-Hispanic times for religious ceremonies and the traditions continue today. Measures 12″ high x 12″ wide. $145.
#13. Rare Vintage Ex-voto from Cholula, Puebla, “Thanksgiving” or Accion de Gracias. Circa 1930’s. 11″ wide x 8″ high. $295.
A word about Ex-Votos: Mexico’s ex-votos (also called retablos) are naive folk art that tell a story of thanksgiving and prayers for being saved from near-death or disaster. Usually the person who escaped tragedy would hire a local primitive artist to pain a tin square depicting the scene. The message of thanks may have included many misspellings, as the painters were not educated. They often include depictions of the saint to whom they are giving thanks. Original ex-votos were taken to a nearby shrine where the person, with hammer and nail, would affix the small painting to a tree, post, or altar. Hence, vintage ex-votos usually have a crude hole in the top center of the plaque.
#14. Francisca Blouse, Purple Haze. 100% cotton and made by hand in Aguacatenango, Chiapas, by our friend Francisca. The bodice is covered in intricate French knots. All by hand–no machine work here! Size Large. Measures 17″ wide from shoulder seam to shoulder seam, and 28″ long. Sleeves are 3/4 length. $125.
How to Buy: Send an email to email@example.com 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 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.
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!
Click image to order yours!
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.
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 *University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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). SOLD OUT.
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. 6 SPACES OPEN.
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 and dye workshops. Ask us for more information about these experiences, customized scheduling, and prices.
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.
One-Day Custom Tours: Tell Us When You Want to Go!
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!
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. SOLD OUT!
March 28-April 3:Screenwriting for Film + Television with Harry Werksman, Golden Globe award winning writer. Develop character, plot, scene. Learn what it takes to pitch a story. Take your ideas from concept to delivery. NEW!
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