Mexican embroidery designs and embroidered textiles have a long-ranging history that dates back all the way to 1400 BC. This includes both the discovery and advent of production of these textiles.
Most of these fabrics were extracted from various plant sources. Some of the more notable are maguey, palm, yucca, and of course cotton from the South.
During changing regimes in Mexico, the materials and patterns of these fabrics also changed significantly. New textiles were introduced into the market, such as silk and wool in addition to new colors and designs with the advent of natural and artificial dyeing practices.
Most fabric production is still centered in the southern states of Mexico such as Oaxaca, Mexican State as well as Chiapas. Embroidered motifs and patterns make up a huge part of the textile industry in Mexico; keep reading to find out about the various styles and designs that Mexican embroidery has to offer!
- Where It All Started
Historically, embroidered fabrics come in a variety of patterns and clothing styles. Each design is specific to a particular clan, culture, and ethnicity. There are also various kinds of patterns that are worn by bachelors while others are representative of one’s marital status. Some designs also vary from one region to another.
As has been aptly put by many experts, these fabrics make up a large part of cultural and personal expression in Mexico. Going back to the very origins of embroidered fabric, it took its forms among local homes with women and elderly ladies embroidering pattern after pattern, relying on their brilliant memories to keep a steady flow of fabric going. Embroidery served as a communal activity for the women of the neighborhood, with the knowledge of intricate patterns and designs patterns passed down from one generation to the next.
Considering the entire excitement surrounding vintage in the contemporary fashion world, we can only imagine what will happen when we combine vintage with Mexican embroidery. Vintage Mexican embroidery designs have become all the rage in the fashion world of now. Since vintage entails that all these designs have originated from the olden days of Mexican textiles and embroidery, it ensures that they highlight the true spirit and essence of Mexican embroidery. In addition, one can be sure that they are the true reflection of Mexican culture and fashion of yore therefore; vintage Mexican embroidered fabrics have become highly coveted.
- Outstanding Oaxaca
As aforementioned, Oaxaca was one of the centers for the production of Mexican embroidered fabrics. Oaxaca embroidered dress makes up a key part in the embroidery designs of the past. Most Oaxaca originated designs consist of a wide variety of styles. These patterns can be used for dresses, trousers, flowing tops, and even wedding dresses. The colors too range from minimal to intricate and bright floral patterns.
They mostly consist of block patterns that are repeated throughout the fabric in order to achieve the desired designs. Oaxaca embroidered dress can range from full-length gowns to casual knee length dresses. The designs have become so popular that they are even being used to create patterns for bed sheets and covers. The designs themselves consist of larger floral prints to embroidered images of animals such as deer and birds. Moreover, these patterns are not limited only to women’s fashion, there are also several up and coming Oaxaca inspired designs for men’s dress shirts and button downs.
- ‘In The Traditional Sense’
The Puebla dress is considered amongst one of the most traditional items of clothing for Mexican women. It is also referred to as China poblana that translates to ‘Pueblan woman’. For the most part, the traditional Mexican Puebla dress has remained inside the confines of Mexico. However, that does not mean that the embroidery is any less impressive as compared to the other fabrics. As compared to the Oaxaca embroidery, the Puebla dress consists of significantly more intricate and elaborate embroidery designs.
Traditionally, a dress can consist of a plain white blouse with minimal embroidery around the collar along with a heavily embellished and pleated skirt. In addition, there are also other forms of the dress that are more compact, with embroidery on specific blocks of the dress on a bright base color, usually red, green, purple, blue or yellow and sometimes black.
- Contemporary Fashion
As is true with any fabric or clothing item, it develops significantly over time according to varying cultural impacts, changing lifestyles and even due to different climate in varying regions of the world. In the same way, Mexican embroidery designs have also varied and developed over the centuries. Beginning from larger floral patterns, the designs have now been altered to more complex, smaller patterns. In addition, in the days of the past, the patterns used to cover the entire length of the fabric while in the contemporary world of fashion; these embroidered patterns have been made more minimalistic, by having it cover only certain blocks of fabrics as opposed to the former.
The designs have also been altered to include more contemporary symbols i.e. embroidered skulls on fabric for celebrating The Day of The Dead which is a public festival in Mexico. In addition, there are images of birds, different types of plants such as cactus, etc. Perhaps the biggest difference is that a lot of the floral patterns have been replaced by more intricate designs of leaves. However, despite these changes, the true spirit and inspiration behind these designs still remain within the Mexican realm of embroidery.
It is no secret that embroidered fabrics and dresses represent an integral part of Mexican culture and the locals hold it very close to their hearts. In addition, with growing awareness of Mexican culture and traditions, more and more individuals are looking into Mexican fabric with growing interest. It is bound to leave a lasting effect on the global market both in terms of cultural and contemporary fashion, therefore needless to say that Mexican embroidered fabrics deserve a lot more attention and we are here for it!