Monday, June 20, 2011

Mexicali Blues Bangor: Grand Opening on June 25!!

The vibrant community of downtown Bangor has recently seen its scene become a bit more colorful, with the addition of the eclectic Maine-based global marketplace Mexicali Blues! Occupying a gorgeous, freshly renovated retail space at 1 West Market Square--former location of the Grasshopper shop--the newest Mexicali Blues is their biggest store to date, and on June 25 they will be celebrating accordingly, with a Grand Opening that is not to be missed!

Mexicali will be opening up their all-new expanded retail space downstairs, offering additional hippie clothing, fashion accessories, and bohemian home decor items that have been responsibly imported from across the globe! For the first time ever and only in this location, merchandise for all seasons will be available and on display throughout the year. Need a cozy alpaca sweater for chilly Maine evenings at the lake, or a batik sundress for a tropical vacation in the dead of Winter? The Bangor Mexicali Blues has you covered!

Saturday, June 25, Mexicali will be celebrating their expanded space and extensive collection of merchandise by offering groovy activities and fabulous discounts for all customers. There will be a 20% discount on everything in the store (except gift cards), a free gift with every single purchase, and a raffle for big prizes like a $100 Mexicali gift card!

Get your groove on with belly dancers and eclectic music as you shop, and take advantage of a 10% discount at local restaurants Giacomo's and Impanema (with Mexicali receipt) to refresh your spirits with some delicious local food. Join Mexicali Blues in Bangor on June 25, and leave with awesome memories, unique merchandise purchased at a deep discount, and maybe even some surprising winnings! Follow Mexicali Blues on Facebook for further details and an event schedule for the Grand Opening.

View 1 W Market Square, Bangor, ME 04401 in a larger map

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Eclectic Fabric: Batik Techniques & Methods

The bright and beautiful patterns and watercolor backgrounds of batik fabric are instantly recognizable as a unique sort of wearable art that cannot be imitated. The frequently freewheeling placement of the patterns and exotic colors reflect the often bohemian spirit of fans of this awesome type of fabric & clothing. At Mexicali Blues, we love batik clothing for its color and charm, and the variety of eclectic patterns and shapes that suit the personal style of so many different kinds of people. Let's explore how these gorgeous fabrics come to be!

Batik is a method of decorating cloth using wax and dye. Hot wax is brushed, drawn, or printed onto cloth, usually silk, cotton or rayon, to block out specific parts and then the cloth is dyed. After dyeing, the wax is removed and the cloth is ready to be worn or made into something different.

Dipping cloth in dye, image via flickr

The hot wax can be applied to fabric in two ways. The traditional way of making batiks is known as batik tulis, where the wax is hand-drawn onto the fabric using a canting. This is a slow and tedious process but the results are phenomenal as the details can be much finer, and small imperfections make each cloth unique.

Applying wax by hand to fabric, image via Java

The second way a batik can be made is by using a batik cap or stamp to stamp the fabric with wax. A batik cap can be made of wood or copper, and the process is similar to block printing. This process allows "perfect" fabric to be mass produced in a time-efficient manner.

Batik cap or stamp, image via Murni's

Sometimes batik makers use both methods on a single piece of cloth, these textiles are called combinasi.

Traditional batiks are found primarily in southeast Asia, but also in China, Japan, and Egypt. Batik remnants have been found that are estimated to be over 2,000 years old!
In the early 19th century the Dutch brought Indonesian craftsmen to Holland to teach their craft to factory workers. By the early 20th century the Germans had developed the mass production (batik cap) of batiks that we in the United States are most familiar with today.

Production of batik cloth in Java, Dutch East Indies, 1912. Image via Wikipedia Commons

Using a batik cap, image via flickr

Batik has also expanded from making traditional patterned fabric, to making batik paintings or artwork on fabric.

Batik artwork, image via ruxlay

Whether geometric, multi-colored, hand-drawn, vibrant, traditional or abstract, batik is a beautiful art form that has been alive for many years. Now you can wear these wonderful pieces of art knowing that they have been responsibly imported from around the world by your favorite Maine store, Mexicali Blues!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bonnaroo: Festival Fashion

Bonnaroo is coming up in just a few days, and if you're heading down to Tennessee to rock out with all the awesome bands and groovy people, you've got to be ready with some stylish and comfortable clothes!

Listen to this new Beirut track that was just released yesterday, and check out our favorite festival picks!

For the Ladies:

We love this flirty batik bandeau dress for hot days; the flowing fabric and strapless shape is so perfect for dancing in the sunshine! Available in 6 colors and patterns, you're sure to find the perfect one to suite your personal style!

This awesome mudmee tie dye dress is fabulous if you want to be a bit more covered and while remaining cool, comfy, and hippie chic!

Exude bohemian vibes while keeping your face protected from the sun with this sweet wide brim sun hat!

A pretty cross-body bag like our peace patch shoulder bag is key for keeping your concert essentials (camera, sunscreen, wallet, etc) close at hand, while allowing you to move and groove unencumbered!

Just because you don't want to be wearing all your favorite jewels at a fest doesn't mean you shouldn't accessorize! Our wide selection of fashion jewelry (including the bold boho necklace above) is uniquely stylish, and so affordable you can wear it at even the wildest festival with no worries!

For the Gents:

An awesome retro tee shirt or tie dye is an integral part of groovy festival style. We love Bob Marley tee shirts, Grateful Dead tees, or the iconic Steal Your State shirt to show a little love for Maine (and the Dead) wherever you are!

Thai Fisherman pants are our favorite hippie pants for festivals, camping, and beyond! Ridiculously comfortable for dancing, when not being worn they fold up super-small and even come with their own little carrying bag!

Funky retro sunglasses are key for a sunny festival! These rasta wayfarers are some of our favorites, and we also offer a ton of affordable options to suite every style!

For Everyone:

Our traditional Mexican blanket is the ultimate festival accessory: sit on it, use it for yoga, roll it up as a pillow; the options are limited only by your imagination!

This nylon frisbee is the ultimate Summer toy! Made of durable nylon with a beanbag-like edging, it folds up easily into its included carrying case and can fit right in your pocket or purse! We especially love it for festivals because it is so soft that a rogue throw won't bop someone in the head quite as hard as a big plastic frisbee (though please do try not to hit others while playing!).

No matter how hot the days, it seems like festivals always leave us chilly at night. Maybe it's the comedown after all that dancing, but we're pretty much always stoked to wrap up in something cozy. Our Mexican baja hoodies are an awesome option that keeps you rocking hippie style all night long!

Will you be going to Bonnaroo, or any other festivals this Summer? What are your essential festival supplies?