Wednesday, August 23, 2017

 Mexicano Bordado or Mexican Embroidery

                 My fascination with embroidery vacillates between jumping in and beginning an elaborate project inspired by what I might have seen in a masterful piece with its exquisite details and the skilled workmanship of experienced fingers evident in its thread work; or getting so overwhelmed so as to not even be able to adapt and attempt it on a smaller manageable piece. And yet keep visiting it again and again with passionate yearning wanting to do it. Art is an incredibly important part of knowing a culture, and I am so glad to be able to learn about different cultures this way, through my blog, exploring different art craft forms.                 

               Mexico is one of the few cultures around the world where some of the indigenous communities hand make their garments; a tradition seen from centuries ago and a mark of Mexican cultural identity. I have had the privilege of seeing some of the cultural richness of Mexican embroidery and noticing the details and intricacies. Traditional costumes and textiles distinguish the origins, culture, ethnicity, social status, and marital status of the indigenous people and I am loving learning to identify the distinctive costumes of many groups and regions. It has been captivating to see such a visual expression of culture and identity. You see them on peasant tops, dresses, belts, table runners, wallets, clutches, aprons, home décor items like cushion covers, wall hangings and a myriad other things. 

            One such bright, funky, and beautiful set of work is what I am interpreting and trying my hand at for this blog post. Most commonly noticeable in Mexico is the vibrant embroidery on clothing and textiles. The most common background fabric colors are white and off-white, with elements of embroidery not only in realistic colors but also very bright colors. Tight clusters of flowers on elaborate local folk clothing can be seen either all in a single bright color or multicolored. The glorious history it narrates is seen in the commonly used precise satin stitch that covers the flower patterns.             

                 As you walk through you notice the communal and everyday nature of arts and crafts, and Mexican embroidery is similarly enthralling and of particular interest, many of the artisans are taught by their mothers and grandmothers from the ages of 5 and 6. The most intricate designs were learned by heart and followed intuitively without patterns. Women support their families and generate financial independence and autonomy for themselves too. Women describe their work with great pride especially the hours invested as well as the significance of the colors, motifs and designs to their culture, heritage and tradition. The most touching sentiment for me is that the women inherently expressed their emotions and feelings and embodied aspects of their personalities, lives and experiences in their embroideries.

             Hope you like my humble interpretation of this precious Mexicano bordado; a colorful tasseled door hanger for a spot of bright color.