Monday, 5 May 2014

Mexican embroidery

I once had a Mexican dress, long narrow with bright flowers on the bodice and a panel at the front. Actually I thought it was rather hot and impractical to wear here, but eventually my daughter wore it successfully. When we were involved in student exchanges one student from Darwin went to live in Mexico and brought back the most wonderful traditional outfit with a very full skirt. But I do not recall any embroidery on it. When I was young there was a fashion for wearing very elaborate pintucked dresses from Mexico. My other knowledge of Mexican clothing is even more limited - as seen in documentaries and tourist films.

This photo is from the facebook site mentioned.
I subscribe to the Nordic Needle newsletters and get them by email. Some are very interesting. This morning there was an article about traditional Mexican embroidery.
http://www.nordicneedle.com/

I followed the links suggested in the newsletter to find out more.

There is a facebook page that shows some of the variations in traditional dress.  https://www.facebook.com/Mexican.textiles  This site shows both weaving and embroidery as well as clothing. It is well worth a visit. I admit I was a little surprised. There is so much to see and learn on that site.

There was a link to a blog. http://blog.fabulousvintage.com.au/2012/04/16/mexican-embroidered-dresses/ The woman who wrote the blog collected some vintage Mexican items and the photos are very clear. There is a link to a Mexican Folk Museum on that blog, another interesting site. And a link to this page of photos. Wonderful.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/citlali/sets/72157608977484960/with/2905146364/
This is the style of Mexican dress
that was popular for brides
when my sister was married.

Mexican history and culture is complex and fascinating. Weaving of cloth had been part of Mexican life since about 1400 BC. Did you know that silk and wool were introduced by the Spanish? Until then the people had woven fabrics from the fibres of yukka, cotton, maguey, and some palms. The French introduced a more mechanised industrial weaving system late in the 1800s that replaced the home-based weaving methods.

Frida Kahlo, the painter, wore traditional Mexican clothing as a social message.

Do have a look at some of these pictures. Read a bit. I am sure you will be inspired too.

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