Embroidery and weaving have had a very long tradition in Mexico, but as with a lot of traditional cultures fewer and fewer members continue to wear these indigenous fabrics as part of their everyday life. Whilst the adornment of the traditional costume may have faded the women continue to embroider and sell these traditional items, and the colourful prints and embroidery of the Mexican indigenous population of the Otomi Tribe is evolving from traditional dress to some beautiful vibrant homewares.
The Otomi textiles are handcrafted by the Mexican Otomi Indians out of muslin fabric and bright embroidery. The colours are striking and certainly serve well to give even the most neutral of rooms a simple lift of colour and vibrance.
The Paulina Pendant and the Hunter Lamp (below) from Straydog Designs are all hand crafted. The shade is made up of Fabric embroidered by the Otomi Indians which covers a wire cage. Due to it’s hand made nature every shade will be different making them fabulous individual pieces of art. The finial hanging down on the pendant light is handcrafted papier mache that has been partly gold leafed.
The distinctive fabric can be used to create cushions, bedspreads, upholstery, and despite the vibrance of the colours it does not look over the top or imposing. Just enough to brighten up for the summer months or bring a little sunshine to the winter months. Here are some ideas.
Or for those who prefer a little less effort a bedspread or throw may be just the Salsa. Also available at EcoChic. They are not cheap but bear in mind that these take up to three months to make by hand in Mexico so really they are a bargain when you think about the care and talent that has gone into them.
My favourite has to be this teal!
New York based Jacaranda Home, with the aim of keeping the Otomi tradition alive, sells this beautiful fabric. As you can see the fabrics come in all colours even more subdued neutrals to give you the pattern without the pop!
A little extra
Here are some other ideas of how you can incorporate this traditional print and fabric into your home or space.
Add a little colour to a plain and cheap chest of drawers, perfect for a kids room or nursery. It would go well with the minimalist Scandinavian look as well (nothing wrong with mixing up the cultural influences!). Or Peter Gilroys hand crafted stools, available on etsy.
A little preservation…
For those interested in the organisations looking to preserve such traditional textile methods you may be interested to read more about the work of the Mexican Indigenous Textile Project which was established to preserve the traditional textile industry of Mexico. They also sell a lot of the fabrics on ebay.