Alb (ecclesiastical vestment) - ROM2014_14419_11


Alb (ecclesiastical vestment)

Medium:Linen tabby with drawn work and bobbin lace
Geography: Mexico
Date: late 19th century
Object number: 943.35.3
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Percy Robertson
Not on view

The Roman Catholic Church fostered the teaching of European needlework skills and relied on the resulting supply of local, finely-worked textiles. This linen alb displays elaborate bands of drawn work, where select threads are pulled from the ground fabric, and the rest are bound and reinforced with decorative stitching. It is further trimmed with bobbin lace.


Deshilado (drawn work), which was popular in Spain, was used to embellish white linen wedding shirts and altar cloths. And during the colonial period, Spanish lace was imported into Mexico for use by the elite, but was also taught locally. Most of these techniques remain current today.

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