ITEM #1. These beautiful belts/ribbons gleam and shine as they are made out of a silky material called artisela (rayon). They are hand woven in Pátzcuaro on small looms made for narrow objects. The belts are 2 1/4 inches wide and 47 to 50 inches long including the fringes. They would be wonderful wrapped around a dress or skirt, or could be slung around the neck. There is a variety of uses which one could invent. I only have the five illustrated here right now - multicolour, black & white, maroon & white, bright orange and turquoise. $15.US/each belt.
Mexico3 #1. This huipil, made for a child is from Chiapas Mexico. It measures 18 3/4 inches wide and 22 inches long (fringe included). The neck opening is 20 inches around. If the huipil is to be worn and the opening is too small it can be cut open a little more and the wrapping around the opening replaced. Hopefully it will work as is though, or sit beautifully displayed. Everything on this piece is done by hand from the weaving, to the sewing and to the embroidery. As is typical now the fabric is synthetic or part synthetic - natural yarn is just too expensive. The piece is just beautifully and intricately made though with many many hours of work involved so this is quite a bargain price. The tassels on the sides add a light touch to it as well. $85.US.
Mexico3 #2. This wide belt or narrow shawl from Cuetzalan, Puebla is totally made by hand. The unbleached cotton is woven on a backstrap loom, the fringes sorted and tied and tassels decorating each end. The piece is 6 1/2 inches wide and 84 inches long. It has a nice tight weave and is one of the few pieces that I saw that was 100% cotton. $98.US.
Mexico3 #4. This wide belt was made by the same woman as the one above. The 100% cotton - bleached to a clean white colour has been hand woven on a backstrap loom. It was knotted and tassels were made just like in the one above. This is 6 1/4 inches wide and 90 inches long. It was bought at the market during the annual feria del huipil in Cuetzalan, Puebla. $98.US.
Mexico3 #5. I bought three shawls in Cuetzalan, Puebla during the annual feria del huipil. It was an excellent experience and I was interested in buying from the hard working, fabric producing women there. These shawls are a new idea, and faster to weave on hand looms than the traditional ones. This shawl is very light in weight, 15 inches wide and 71 inches long. $28.US.
Mexico3 #6. This shawl is a narrower version of the style above. It is 13 inches wide and 74 inches long (including fringes). $28.US.
Mexico3 #7. This is the largest of the three shawls - 24 inches wide and 94 inches long. $45.US.
Mexico3 #8. There are two wristbands here, made of knotted cord in a macrame type of construction. #1 is the larger with the wrist size being 6 3/4 inches around. #2 is a little smaller with a wrist size of 6 1/4 inches around. They are both around 1 3/4 inches wide. They are knotted to close so you need help to fasten one on. Then it feels and looks very natural. $15.US/each
Mexico3 #9. There are three groups of strands of seedbeads here - they are often pulled over the head and knotted to hold them together, worn with traditional white embroidered blouses in Cuetzalan, Puebla. The beads most likely are made in China but the colours are chosen on the strands to match with the embroidery cotton. $9.US/each group
Mexico3 #10. The seeds in these necklaces from Cuetzalan, Puebla were called "colorina" but I still don't know what the plant is... They are strong onto knotted cotton. $18.US/each necklace
Mexico3 #11. $22.US/necklace $16.US/bracelet
TEXTILE #1. Here is a beautiful hand woven belt. I bought it in Cuetzalan, Puebla and it is very typical of the work done by the Nahua people who live in the mountains of the region. I bought it from a woman who had both woven (on a hand loom), embroidered and finished the piece herself. The piece is 54 inches wide and the plain part is 2 1/2 inches wide. I love the colours and the shapes of the flying birds. Cuetzalan is very famous for its birds... $75.US.
TEXTILE #2. This is a large totally hand woven shawl/rebozo which would look beautiful laid on a table or draped over a chair. The weaving has lots of texture to it - thick substantial looking threads of unbleached cotton. The piece is not exactly embroidered but red threads are pulled through the piece woven over and under threads to create a pattern. The piece was made in Ayacaxtle Chicontepec, Veracruz. The image is reduced in size - it is 106 inches long (including fringes) and 32 inches wide. $230.US (sold)
TEXTILE #3. This is a large totally hand woven shawl/rebozo which would look beautiful laid on a table or draped over a chair. The weaving has lots of texture to it - thick substantial looking threads of unbleached cotton. The piece is not exactly embroidered but red threads are pulled through the piece woven over and under threads to create a pattern. The piece was made in Ayacaxtle Chicontepec, Veracruz. The image is reduced in size - it is 106 inches long (including fringes) and 32 inches wide. $230.US (sold)
TEXTILE #4. This is a typical shirt of the Chiapas are where it was made through a local training and trading program. It would be a great gift for a child of 2 or so - and an average child could wear it til 3 or 4. The shape is based on a rectangle just as tradition shows. Rectangles were used all over the world for hand loomed textiles so that there would be no loss of fabric by cutting it away. This blouse is unbleached cotton (machine woven) and hand embroidered with rich colours. When laid down the blouse is 15 inches wide and 14 1/4 inches tall. The sleeve is 4 1/2 inches tall and 3 inches wide. $18.US.
TEXTILE #5. The beading on this blouse is absolutely beautiful. It is from Cuetzalan, Pueblo, Mexico and similar pieces can be seen on some of the Nahua/Nahuatl women who come to town to sell at the market. The beading is quite perfect and is attached to a white cotton blouse. It would be much too much work for me to create something like this... I am a size 4 and it seems that it would fit a size 4 through 8 without problems. $145.US. (sold)
ITEM #2. I was amazed to find these two pieces of fabric (items #2 and #3) (embroidered in order to become traditional aprons worn over long skirts particular to this specific area of the Purepecha) for sale in the market in Pátzcuaro. The labour in making them is almost endless, cross-stitch after cross-stitch - and they are rarely put up for sale. One often sees women who are selling vegetables or goods in the market, using spare moments to stitch their aprons. Since they are done on different occasions you will find that some stitches are backwards from others, and not everything lines up perfectly - please do not look for perfection, but for the value of a woman's hard work instead. The first one here is stitched with white cotton on one of the favourite types of materials in use now - a small checker design which helps the sewer to keep track of keeping the small squares in line. The fabric seems to be a cotton/polyester blend. Women will design their own patterns or use designs which they have bought or borrowed. Sometimes simple ones are stitched, but these two are quite thoroughly coloured and complex. A fancy edge is often scalloped around the apron. The sides of this one have simply been turned over and stitched closed by hand. They would be easy to undo so that you would have a slightly larger piece of material to work with. The patterned area is 35 inches wide and 22 1/2 inches tall. The fabric is 36 by 31 inches plus borders. You can see aprons being used in the photo at the top of the page - with fully traditional clothing during a dance in honour of a Saint. They are also worn on a daily basis though, over long skirts with simpler blouses. $165.US.
ITEM #3. This is the second piece of embroidered apron fabric. It is a nice, deep chrome yellow cotton thread stitched into another small checker cotton/polyester fabric. It is quite lush with flowers. This is a curious piece with many odd parts here and there - petals that have remained unfilled in, a cross stitch done in different directions, or unfinished, etc. The woman doing these don't seem to mind, and I don't mind either as I find the texture and the particular-ness of the pieces to be quite wonderful. This pattern covers the entire width of the fabric at 38 inches. The pattern extends almost 18 inches tall on a fabric which is 27 1/2 inches tall. The edges have been folded and machine stitched, with a ribbon running along one side. You can unstitch these to give yourself a little more fabric around the edges. I am a great admirer of the constant work that was done to create this. $185.US.
ITEM #13. This is a marketplace find in a small jewellery store in a coastal town. The owner's brother is a jeweller in Taxco and puts necklaces and other items together from items brought to him. This is an 18 inch strand of red coral plus black. The red is roughly cut with rough bits here and there. The black has been tumbled and is perfectly round. I don't honestly have a way to ensure that it is truly black coral as the beads are shiny and perfect looking and I don't want to break one. I thought this was an interesting and exuberant piece no matter what. $145.US.
ITEM #14. I just have one comb at the moment. The sirena (mermaid) is being pulled along by an alligator, floating through the water I imagine... The comb is 5 1/4 inches across. $24.US.
ITEM #15. This is an amusing necklace which I bought in the Coyoacan Sunday market. The vendor only had one which was unfortunate. This is very simply made with seeds as the beads knotted on the string, and a skull face pendant carved out of some curious material which I am not sure about. It reminds me of tagua nut, which could have been dyed to suit. The skull pendant is almost 1 1/4 inches tall, and the necklace is 19 inches long. $28.US. (sold)
I have some beaded work here, done by Mayan women and sold in the market. beads were brought in with the first traders, and were found to be a source of creative ornament from the beginning...
ITEM #8. The work on these pieces is amazing and time consuming. This necklace (collare) is 30 inches long with 16 strands of beads, woven into cones in 5 places around the piece. It slips on and sparkles. $45.US.
ITEM #9. This 30 inch long seed bead necklace (collare) is a little more subtle in colour than the one above, but it still sparkles with life. It also has 16 strands of beads. $45.US.
ITEM #10. There are two necklaces here (corbatas) - - when laid out they stretch 15 inches from one end to the other. They slip on like North American native Indian ones do, and use the same basic type of stitches. It is only natural as there is a limited amount of ways that beads could be strung together. Like all of the seed bead work, they are rich in colour and full of life. $22.US/each
ITEM #11. Here are two bracelets or pulseras to fit tightly around one's wrist. They each fit a 7 inch wrist - no larger. The pulsera with the fish is $10.US and the peridot green/gold one below is $6.US.
ITEM #12. This is a gorgeous little zip topped bag (bolsa). This is well made and lined with black fabric. This measured 4 inches by 2 3/4 inches so is perfect for a little change or a safe place to keep a little jewellery in. It is the same pattern both front and back. $25.US.
back to the MEXICO first page
for earrings from Oaxaca, please check here
to learn more about textiles in Mexico, here is an interesting page