Having recently lived in Oaxaca for 3 years plus many other visits over time, I’ve scouted out the BEST and highest quality Oaxacan textiles. The following shops are where I hang out and send my fellow textile junkies. Of course, there are LOTS of textiles EVERYWHERE in Oaxaca, but even if you aren’t a collector, it’s a good idea to educate your eye with the BEST. Honestly, you won’t find anything better than the textiles here! You’ll most likely be back to buy something as the textiles are that beautiful. I call the following stores —textile DANGER ZONES.
Baules de Juana Cata – Alcala 403 – entrance to ‘Los Danzantes Restuarant’ – inner courtyard to the right. Remigio Mestes’ store is chock full of the most gorgeous textiles in all Oaxaca. The last 15 years Remigio has been instrumental in revitalizing traditional back-strap weaving and natural dyeing, not to mention embroidery and use of finer base materials. He has encouraged over 200 artisans (see picture) to create the most refined and elegant textiles probably in all of Mexico. To talk to Remigio you have to have luck and timing as he’s often out of town visiting his artisans or out of the country or traveling searching for better base materials (silks & cottons) or setting up exhibits in places like Japan. If your timing is right the best time to catch him is around 7 pm in his shop. If you are seriously interested in seeing (and possibly buying) the VERY best he will be happy to pull things out of his ‘baules’ / trunks that will knock your socks off! He also has a very knowledgeable staff who look young but are very charming and capable of assisting you. He’s training the children of his artisans to be merchants and ambassadors of their traditional textile culture.
Museo Textile de Oaxaca – Hidalgo 917 corner of Fiallo – two block east of the Zocalo – The museum shop at Museo Textile de Oaxaca offers top quality textiles from Oaxaca and other parts of Mexico. GREAT stuff. The Museum itself has an outstanding collection of Mexican textiles but seeing it will depend on what is currently showing. You might get lucky and be there for the monthly 3-4 day sales/demonstrations by visiting regional artisans, which is a great opportunity to buy directly from the artists. Please check the following link to see what’s going on. The museum also offers short classes in indigo dyeing, back-strap loom weaving, embroidery and other things textile related. Current classes will be listed on the site too.
Arte Amuzgo – 5 da May #217B– one block down from Camino Real Convent Hotel on the right. Odilon Morales, represents his weavers coop from San Pedro Amuzgos,and indigenous villages near the coast of Oaxaca. (see a little sign painted on the wall outside of his shop of a weaver at her back strap loom). Odilon is another innovative organizer/promoter of traditional weavers who provides the high quality threads and encourages contemporary color combinations. His weavers produce refined sophisticated huipiles and blouses sought after by affluent Mexicans and foreign collectors. High quality textiles from other weaving groups in the Oaxacan coastal area available too. Both Odilon and Remigio have been participants in the prestigious Santa Fe International Folk Art Market – so my best images of them are from this event.
COMING SOON – PART II AND III – Textile Shopping in and around Oaxaca and Individual Artisan Shops….
That was wonderful- thank you! When exactly are we going to Oaxaca? 🙂
hi sherita……..sara is here and we went out to tlacolula with marsha sunday and had a good time, and saw many new things, thanks to her expertise…she mentioned that you are going in very soon for your hip surgery….best of luck with this venture and big hugs to you my dear! just want you to know that remigio is no longer involved in the store in the textile museum, and has been out of that venue at least 6 months…you may want to just pull that part of the entry…thank you for these updates and pics! hope all is going well for you up there in el norte… abrazos, woof
See what happens when you are out of town for awhile??!!
Thanks Chris for the update – I’ve changed the copy in my post to reflect your information.
Perfect timing! I’m going to Oaxaca in August for a textile residency at Arquetopia, so this will be a great resource. Thank you!
Thank you for sharing your wealth of information here, Sheri. I’m visiting Oaxaca now on a budget, but interested in adding simple but attractive huipils to my wardrobe, buying pillow cases for a couple of rooms in our new home, and textiles for a few chairs I want to recover… I’d thought prices would be better here than in northern Baja where I live, but so far, not so. Can you please recommend possible textile places for budget shopping and possible opportunities I’d not want to miss, for example maybe something at Museo Textile de Oaxaca? Thank you in advance.
Hi Deb – Budget shopping for quality textiles?
Honestly handwoven stuff isn’t really cheap and it shouldn’t be… considering it takes many days, weeks months to make some of these items. The stores I recco’d have the highest quality so the prices follow accordingly.But if you can find some of the artisans and buy directly – you might find things a bit less expensive. I’d suggest going to the Tlacolula market to the east of Oaxaca (45mins by taxi or combi) on Sunday. Some of the makers could be there or if you want woolen good go directly to Teotitlan del Valle.
Are you using my new book – “Textile Fiestas of Mexico – a travelers guide” ? It was lots of hints on where to find stuff. Some of this info is on my blog too.
You can also try the Artisans Market down the street from the Benito Juarez market (another good place) in the Center of Oaxaca. Remember Mexico isn’t China (hahaha). But the best prices are when you buy directly from Artisans. Usually prices are very fair but try to pay what they ask as a sign of respect. Artisans will offer a discount, if they can, within the first few minutes of the transaction. I have total respect for the artisans and their prices and support fair-trade principles.
Just ordered your book and will be in Oaxaca in a few weeks. Got to spend a little time with you and Bela several years ago – a trip to San Andres. You are a very special lady and thank you for your work preserving and honoring the textile arts of that region. Will miss SC and Bela, but looking forward to Oaxaca. Chris
Thanks for your kind words Chris and I hope you enjoy the guide.
I’m currently in Oaxaca until Feb. 10th….I’ll be doing a presentation a the OLL/Oax Lending Library on Feb. 8th at 5:30/Thursday. Maybe you’ll be here at that time.
Then I’ll return to Chiapas Feb. 10th for a month and assisting with a couple of tours with Oaxaca Culture/Norma Schafer.
Hope you enjoy you time in Oaxaca Chris!
I am looking for scarfs and placemats in Teotitlan Del Valle. Can you help me?
Hi Regina – Teotitlan del Valle works almost exclusively in wool…making carpets, and some wearables and bags.
If you are looking for cotton hand woven placemats and shawls/scarves, Chiapas is the place. Lots of coops to visit there and find beautiful products. I have a post here on WordPress with BEST shopping in San Cristobal de las Casas and you can find other information in my book, “Textile Fiestas of Mexico….a travelers guide”. (Amazon and in my Etsy shop: Living Textiles) Thanks for checking in…
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