Mexico: The Hunt for the Perfect Huipil Begins

Art for Housewives:

Huipiles and San Cristobal…

Originally posted on Learning Adventures:

March 8, 2013

We began our serious textile-search on Day Two in San Cristóbal in Chiapas province. Despite the fact that I thought I wasn’t much interested in purchasing anything on this trip, I have to admit the huipil focus expanded considerably my knowledge of indigenous life and led us to offbeat places where few tourists tread.

What’s a huipil? It’s a loose-fitting blouse (or sometimes long dress) made from rectangular pieces of richly embroidered and decorated fabric, and sewn together simply with openings for the head and arms. Huipils are shapeless but stunning. These garments are worn by indigenous women, especially Mayan, throughout central and southern Mexico and Central America. They are often handwoven on back-strap looms and may be ceremonial, though many women wear them everyday.

Often the designs on huipils identify the community or village from which the wearer comes. In one San Cristóbal museum we saw…

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Huipil from Aguacatan #146

Art for Housewives:

Huipil with a design from the region of Aguacatan

Originally posted on Ixchel Textiles - Tejidos Ixchel:



Exquisite satin design from the region of Aguacatan. This beautiful huipil is highly influenced by the Mexican style of huipil with a white background and lots of orange and red colors.  This huipil measures 33″ across the shoulders, 23″ from the neckline to the bottom edges. The neck opening is round and measures 6″ in diameter. The sides have been stitched closed to create armholes.

This white satin huipil is elegant with its hand-embroidered design around the collar and sleeves in brilliant colors of red, yellow, and orange accented with appliqué and machine stitching throughout the bodice and finished with a delicate lace trim around the bottom edge.

This unique huipil is in excellent used condition, with no signs of wear.


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Backstrap Weaving- Putting Down Roots and Weaving a Guatemalan Tree (Part 1)

Art for Housewives:

Many great fotos of backstrap weaving.

Originally posted on Backstrap Weaving:

Celtic knot motifs in Andean pebble weave on my backstrap loom


It is exciting how much interest there is out there in backstrap weaving. Some people are attracted to all the beautiful pick-up patterns they have seen on ethnic textiles around the world many of which have been woven on  backstrap looms. Others are attracted to the loom itself – its simplicity, portability and  low cost. Some people are interested in the products they can produce using up their yarn stash with this inexpensive piece of equipment while others are more intrigued by the processes involved in the “slow cloth” it produces.

I think that some people may be unaware that most of the pick-up patterning techniques do not need to be limited to the

My boyfriend learning Andean pebble weave on my rigid heddle loom

backstrap loom and can be set up and woven on other looms. I have heard from quite a few people in the time that…

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Huipil of the day

Art for Housewives:

Huipil with circular motifs

Originally posted on tara whalley:

Huipil of the day

I love seeing what everyone wears to work each day- not your usual blue tie job! This huipil has patterns I hardly see, I was really drawn to the colour pallete and the circular motifs, which I discovered represent crowns. Beautiful!

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Chichicastenango – Good Guipil Hunting

Art for Housewives:

huipil motif

Originally posted on dragoness' utterances:

Tommy-Tim had already collected a small group from Panajachel to go shopping at “the biggest out door market in the Central America” Sunday in Chichicastenango. And, I got to tag along despite feeling that it would be just more of the same old tipica (craft goods). I went with the idea of seeing this town and contacting the local Shaman. That would have been just fine but the gang was very harmonious. We became a merry bunch getting to know each other in the van and plotting top priorities like cocktails, hearing the Quiche Mass at Santo Tomas and getting into the market before the tourist buses arrive on Sunday.

Our focus was on woven goods particularly elaborately decorated Guipils – this is a wearable passacaglia of needle work playing over a base weave. The embroidered, white, light cotton blouses worn in Mexico go by the same name. In the…

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Pasión Por Frida

Art for Housewives:

Back to Frida!

Originally posted on Keep Feeling Fascination:

I just remembered that I took these photos at the Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City a few weeks ago.  In the museum’s cafe’ there was a stack of magazines that included Frida-inspired editorials, and this one in Vogue Mexico was my favorite.  Anndra Neen jewelry, Givenchy and Prada attire, and Mexican textiles mingle with antiques and objects, all shot in the museum. Makes me wish I was still there.

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Textiles of Chiapas – January 2011

Art for Housewives:

still more huipiles!


Originally posted on Living Textiles of Mexico:

Currently I’m exploring the textiles of the Highland Mayas of Chiapas by visiting villages, markets, and if I’m lucky.  a festival or ceremony  in process. Many villages are having the changing of their civil and spiritual leaders through the passing of ‘cargos’ (obligations), so ceremonies are common and luckily for me, traditional costumes are in abundance. The downside of this story is that photographing their ceremonies  and their costumes is prohibited by village tradition. On several occasions I just ‘got lucky’ and managed to get an image and other times I was invited to take a picture. Sometimes the images of these groups of people have been so stunning it will be indelible in my visual memory. What I will try and do is give you a taste of the textiles worn by the people in the area of San Cristobal de las Casas. Some of these were in taken…

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