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Project Overview


Khadi Oaxaca formally began in 2014 but has been unfolding for many years prior.


coyuchi, Our organic cotton, is native to the coast of Oaxaca.


We use only natural ingredients from the region for our dyes.  

We carefully choose all the raw materials we use, caring for the earth and the people we work with. 

Thread is hand spun.

We work with women from the village and nearby ranches who spin the thread, weave the fabric and embroider our designs.




The results are to dye for.

hand woven.jpg

Fabric is hand woven.




The cotton

We receive organic cotton from Katyi Ya’a, a collective made-up of 18 women who spin and weave locally grown, native, organic, naturally colored brown and white cotton.

Cotton and textile production is a centuries old tradition in San Juan Colorado, an indigenous Mixteco village on the coast of Oaxaca. The brown and white cotton we work with is native to the coast of Oaxaca and Guerrero.

 cotton field

cotton field

The coast of Oaxaca and Guerrero, la Costa Chica, is one of the few sites in the world where naturally colored cotton originates.

The CDS (Consejo de Desarrollo Sustentable San Juan Colorado A.C.), works with regional farmers to save these semi-rare seeds and produce cotton for several manufacturers of natural cotton goods in Oaxaca.

The cotton is produced strictly on small plots, without pesticides and is frequently intercropped with corn.


For further information about the cotton you can contact Margaret MacSems:

Telephone USA: 530 419 5191
Telephone Oaxaca (Mexico): 951 219 3111
Telephone at workshop in San Juan Colorado (Mexico): 954 139 70 48

The dyes we use


In Khadi Oaxaca we want our clothes to be chemical free, and that includes both the dyes and the cotton.


Natural ingredients are gathered from the area to create a diverse color palette and then steeped for various amounts of time to produce a range of hues. A few of our components include the wild marigold used to dye the fabrics in yellow. This plant is harvested in summer and is used fresh.
Indigo from the Istmo region creates blue threads. A brown color is derived from oak bark collected in the woods in the Sierra Sur, and cochineal is used to obtain the pink color.


Hand spinning, hand weaving

This region in the Sierra Sur of Oaxaca has a long tradition of sheep's wool crafts, so it was easy for artisans here to work with cotton.

Hand spinning

Workshops were set up to teach any wanting to learn, and now as of 2016, at least 300 women from villages and ranches de-seed the cotton brought from the coast, card it and spin it all by hand in their homes.

Local carpenters replicate the spinning wheel designed by Gandhi for every artisan to have her own.

 Spinning wheel created by Ghandi 

Spinning wheel created by Ghandi 

The art that is in the machine made article, appeals only to the eye; the art in khadi appeals first to the heart and then to the eye.
— Mahatma Gandhi
 backstrap loom

backstrap loom

 pedal loom

pedal loom

Hand weaving

There are two types of hand weaving used in the village, pedal and backstrap loom
Both of them yield wonderful textiles.


Once the fabric is ready, our head designer, Kalindi,plans out the different clothes and embroideries to be done.

 violence-free clothes

violence-free clothes