I have had the most amazing summer out in the country…. farmers markets, auctions, flea markets and tiny antique stores in the middle of nowhere. Two weeks ago I stumbled upon a gold mine at an auction in southeast indiana. Who knew that in the middle of miles of cornfields in a 3 story 1800’s farmhouse I would find an amazing collection of gorgeous south american and mexican textiles including this group of huipils! I still feel bad about viciously out bidding the lady next to me – sorry but they were going to be MINE!
Here is some background info straight from Wikipedia so you know what you are drooling over…..
Huipil [ˈwipil] (from the Nahuatl word huīpīlli [wiːˈpiːlːi]) is the most common traditional garment worn by indigenous women from central Mexico to Central America. It is a loose-fitting tunic, generally made from two or three rectangular pieces of fabric which are then joined together with stitching, ribbons or fabric strips, with an opening for the head and, if the sides are sewn, openings for the arms. Traditional huipils, especially ceremonial ones, are usually made with fabric woven on a backstrap loom and are heavily decorated with designs woven into the fabric, embroidery, ribbons, lace and more.
After a long winter I am feeling more inspired than i have in a long time! The weather is warmer, the trees and flowers are blooming (as miserable as it makes me feel) and I am ready for summer. I have seen some amazing and beautiful antique textiles lately and thought i would share some images. These are from ICFF where i was busy shopping for my imaginary store……
So at the risk of sounding like a late night host, I am going to start a column called Whadizit? This is a game my friend and co-worker Vera and I play on a regular basis. When she started a past job (at a company that shall remain nameless), she eagerly turned on her new computer and discovered a file on her desktop simply titled “what is it?”. She opened it and sure enough she didn’t know what it was. That’s how i often feel when i am sifting through the various textiles and items i have collected during past travels. So my first installment is this AMAZING indigo, hand embroidered caftan (?). I honestly (and embarrassingly) do not remember where i bought it…. morocco perhaps? I feel that it is African but perhaps one of you know what it is and can share…..
Either way it is the perfect combination of everything i love – indigo – embroidery – and attention to detail. Enjoy!
The enormous sleeves of this garment hang low and button together in the back. When turned up the insides of the sleeves reveal this beautiful embroidered detail.
The image below really shows how deeply embedded the indigo is in the fabric. My hands and fingernails turn blue every time i touch it. Don’t wash with whites!