Embroidered blouse of woman's gala ensemble - ROM2014_14346_47


Embroidered blouse of woman's gala ensemble

Maker: Otomi culture
Medium:Cotton tabby with cross-stitch embroidery
Geography: San Pablito, State of Puebla, Mexico
Date: 1950-1960
63.5 x 56 cm
Object number: 961.190.2.C
Credit Line: No credit line
Not on view

The Otomí of San Pablito pay great attention to detail – cloth panels are joined with decorative stitching, the square neckline is elegantly edged, and the cloth is gathered into a tiny frill underneath the yoke (neck panel). The embroidery has been worked on cuadrillé, a square-meshed cloth designed for even stitches. These blouses, among the finest in Mexico, are still worn today.


The blouse has proven to be Spain's most significant contribution to Mexican female dress. Inspired by the European chemise, it was widely adopted after the Conquest and has replaced the huipil in many indigenous communities. Contemporary blouses are usually made from factory-produced cotton cloth. Most are short-sleeved and box-like in their construction. Sleeves and yokes (neck panels) are embellished with embroidery or, more rarely, beadwork, with designs often inspired by the natural world.

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