Khadi Oaxaca Competitionby Selvedge Team
All images: Khadi Oaxaca
Khadi Oaxaca is a non-profit company based in the mountain village of San Sebastian Rio Hondo, Oaxaca, Mexico. The team is dedicated to spinning, natural dyeing, weaving, sewing and embroidering heirloom cotton and locally produced wool textiles by hand. We are pleased to have three ruanas from Khadi Oaxaca (worth £115 each) to give away to blog readers - pictured above. The three ruanas express the timeless essence of Khadi Oaxaca’s handspun thread and natural colour pallet. This garment design, originating in the Andes as the result of indigenous and European fusion, is similar to a poncho, but the twin-panels joined in the back are left open in front. At once cozy and light-weight, the versatile ruana can be worn as a scarf, a shawl or a wrap. Khadi’s rustically elegant, soft and gauzy fabric is woven on the pedal loom with ecologically grown, heirloom, naturally colored brown, handspun cotton thread in the weft and indigo-dyed cotton thread in the warp. They are hand-finished and joined with a whip-stitch using oak bark-dyed cotton thread.
Khadi Oaxaca’s work is inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s Khadi movement in India, which they have melded with local Zapotec traditions, ancient and classic production techniques and innovative designs. Fabric by the metre, homeware and finished clothing are available for retail and wholesale purchases, as well as custom production of collaborative designs.
More than 300 rural artisans participate in the creation of Khadi Oaxaca’s ethical and sustainable textiles. Traditional farmers on the Oaxaca coast grow Khadi’s heritage cotton on ecologically managed, small plots. Over 200 women who live in or near the village, hand spin the cotton and wool on their Gandhi designed, locally hand-crafted spinning wheels. These handspun fibers are then woven on both back strap and pedal looms. The final steps involve dozens of artisans in hand stitching and embroidering their signature applications of Mexican and international folk art motifs.
To enter to win one of the Khadi Oaxaca ruanas, visit our Competitions page.
Anne Laure Camilleri writes about a visit to Khadi Oaxaca in Issue 95: Heritage.