Today I’m showing another embroidery from Dr. Shirazi’s collection (see bottom of post for details on the collection). This is from Mexico, and is worked in matizada (variegated) threads, which are often used in Ocotlan. However, it is really a general style rather than a specific indigenous textile type (many thanks to Bob Freund of Mexican Textiles for the information).
In the closeup of the central design you can see how they used variegated threads to create a sense of movement in the piece.
In an even closer view you can see the stitching. It’s done in Bokhara couching.
You can see from the back the differences with satin stitch – the back is not covered, it just has stitching at the edges of the outlines and lines of stitching in the middle where the couching stitches are. This keeps the fabric light weight. It’s very neatly done work.
As you can see from this design, you can have a beautiful embroidery without aiming for realism in either colors or shapes. I love these birds.
You can see some similar embroidery in a gallery at Mexican Textiles.
This is one of a special series of posts based on the embroidery collection of Dr. Faegheh Shirazi, from The University of Texas at Austin. Her research is on “textiles, dress, gender identity discourse, and material culture in the Middle East; the meanings of veiling; rituals and rites of passage as they relate to material culture.” Over the years she has collected a number of examples of embroidery from around the world, and has very kindly allowed me to photograph them for my blog.