Guatemalan indigo fabrics are very easy to repurpose into one of a kind home decor items. With the vintage indigo ikat textiles I carry in my shop you can request a custom order or DIY a set of table placemats and napkins. For inspiration, the photo above from The Global Trunk illustrates the character and casual elegance a humble Guatemalan ikat fabric can bring to a table top.
Guatemalan indigo ikat fabrics are available in the Morrissey Fabric shop on Etsy and on this website. You will find a nice selection of vintage Guatemalan ikat corte fabrics to create whatever it is you need for a table top update. Most of the Guatemalan textiles I carry are called corte cloth. Simply translated, "Corte" means skirt. Authentic Corte cloth was originally woven with back strap looms throughout villages in Guatemala. The vintage ikat textiles are typically in very good condition.
Guatemalan corte cloth is most often hand crafted from cotton. The weight of the corte fabrics will vary depending on the region and village the Guatemalan cloth originates from. The vintage corte cloth used for the pillow above has many distinctive traits. For example, the embroidered stripe running horizontally across the pillow face is called a "Randa." Since these textiles were worn as skirts, the randa was a decorative way to disguise the seam where the two length ends were joined together to make one large tube of fabric. This ikat corte cloth also has a very interesting pattern. If you look closely you will see figures and trees woven into the unique Guatemalan design.
Vintage Guatemalan corte cloth makes a wonderful upholstery textile. The indigo blue striped corte used to upholster the antique loveseat above is very sturdy cotton. Note the elaborately embroidered randa detail on this Guatemalan textile. This type of heavy embroidery is not easy to find on a vintage corte cloth so the decorative feature is prominently centered as the focal point on the furniture frame.
The indigo corte cloth seen here is a very heavy denim-like plaid. I'm told that these particular corte cloth are woven by Guatemalan men. Once again, the decorative randa embroidery is used to cover the seam where two long pieces of Guatemalan indigo are joined to make a wider width. The randa that runs across the length only appears in one area where the length ends were joined. As with most of the vintage textiles I carry, these Guatemalan textiles were created to be worn as garments, so the size will typically be like that of a large beach towel.
Guatemalan corte cloth is not the regions only garment easily repurposed into home decor. For Morrissey Fabric I used a vintage Guatemalan Huipile to make a pair of unique and vibrant pillows. A Guatemalan Huipile is a top or blouse. I'm often amazed by how thick the huipile weaves are and that a tiny village woman wore the heavy garment. The Guatemalan huipile I used for these pillows was quite damaged along the lower portion, so I cut the unusable part and replaced it with homespun African mud cloth so that I could complete two 20-inch square pillows.
Vintage Guatemalan corte cloth from my Etsy shop was used for the tulip skirt pictured, designed by Maria Strauss. This is one of a collection she designed for her high-end Florida-based label, Just Be Queen. One of the many desirable features of vintage Guatemalan corte cloth is that is was not mass produced. This affords apparel and home decor designers to repurpose these textiles into limited edition and one-off creations.
Indigo corte cloth may be very dark indigo blue or more faded in color. Since I am based along the coast in Southern California, I am often asked to source very light and faded indigo blue Guatemalan textiles for my clients. This is a tall order indeed. I have found that the indigenous Guatemalan people who wear this decorative cloth value the textile and have cared for it so as to prevent much wear or fading. But as you can see by the pillows pictured above, the deep indigo blue color is right at home among the rest of the rustic elements in the space.
Please check the Guatemalan fabric sections on this website or my Etsy shop for a wide range of vintage ikat and indigo textiles.
Mexican Otomi embroidered textiles come in a rainbow of colors suitable for casual decor, a child's room, or a colorful bohemian space. Mexican Otomi is also called Tenango therefore either term represents the festive hand embroidered textile.
For Morrissey Fabric I combined cloth from multiple continents to create a welcoming guest room shown above. African mud cloth pillows, an Asian hill tribe striped pillow, pink and gray African Baule cloth, and a Guatemalan bedcover coordinate comfortably with the Mexican Otomi pieces that solidify the style statement of the room.
Otomi is hand embroidered and each piece is one of a kind. The Otomi textile seen above was embroidered to be used as a placemat. But you could easily repurpose the Tenango placemat into a pillow, the side of a tote bag, the back of a shirt, or frame and hang as wall art.
The extravagant table setting above, created by Dana Small Designs, is a wonderful example of how to use monochromatic Mexican Otomi textiles to full advantage for a party table scape. The Tenango textiles of this size are hand crafted in Hidalgo, Mexico. These large pieces of hand embroidered Otomi were made to be used as bed covers, but they add a lush one-of-a-kind charm to this party scene.
Otomi placemats are an affordable way to represent the colorful hand made embroidery art in your home. No two Tenango textiles are alike which makes these conversational textiles a nice way to display something truly unique.
Tenango embroidery has many design styles. You will see birds, flowers, mythical animals and sometimes human figures in the compositions. I have found the floral patterns and the multi-color patterns to be the most popular with my Morrissey Fabric clients. But if you lean toward a monochromatic color story you will likely be able to find one suited just for you. The green Otomi table runner seen above could also be repurposed into Jungalow-Style wall art or pillow covers.
If you are searching for a particular color or size of Mexican Otomi fabric please feel free to contact me for sourcing. It should be noted that these Tenango textiles do not come as running yardage. The maximum size is approximately 2 yards x 2 yards because the embroidery is all done by hand in small Mexican villages where workspace is at at premium. If you need larger quantities for a design project, you will have to use multiple Otomi textiles.
Global textiles are filled with animal motifs of every sort. Some vintage textiles have mythical creatures while other antique fabrics portray real animals like elephants and birds. The vintage Chinese batik, also called paste-resist, is a perfect example of just such a textile. Elephants are a symbol of wisdom and strength in Chinese art.
Guatemalan Textile are absolutely packed with animal and bird motifs. The treasure corte cloth seen above has rows of birds perched atop greenery.
You may not see them at first when viewing the textile from a distance. But upon closure look it's easy to spot all the birds.
The little turtle seen in the African Hausa cotton fabric above is a common motif. The turtle is often accompanied by small reptiles, fish, and birds. African textiles are loomed by hand and are full of beautiful rustic characteristics such as cotton slubs and seeds.
Sometimes these African Hausa textiles are also called Fulani textiles. These large African fabrics make wonderful bed covers.
African indigo is sometimes tie dyed with fish represented in the patterns. The abstracted fish and bubble trail is a great conversation detail. I've come across a number of these African indigo with fish patterns and each one is different due to the hand made nature of the textile. Classic blue and white with fish patterns on a vintage African indigo isn't difficult to find, but it's always charming nonetheless.
I will be posting more examples of animals found within vintage global textiles such as Mexican Otomi embroidery and Chinese batiks. Stay tuned.