Colombian Embroidery

Happy birthday, Colombia! July 20th, 1810.

To celebrate, we are going to talk about Colombian embroidery.

In Colombia, weaving/knitting is king (cotton, wool, Gynerium sagittatum, Furcraea, banana fiber, etc.) but embroidery is also appreciated.

Cartago Openwork

Let’s start with the most locally famous, Cartago (Valle del Cauca) openwork.

Penelope, the monument to the embroiderer, Cartago, Valle del Cauca, Colombia.

It is a type of drawnthread whitework. It is done on linen or cotton, but always evenweave. The threads of the ground fabric are drawn (cut) out and then new threads (cotton) are needlewoven in to create beautiful geometric designs on the bias.

Cartago openwork in progress.

The embroidery is used to decorate sheets, tablecloths, curtains, and the famous openwork guayaberas (Panama shirts.)

Openwork Guayabera

Fonquetá Crewelwork

In the highlands of the Cundinamarca state, sheep are raised, and with their wool, fabric is woven and embroidered.

Crewelwork from the Fonquetá artisanal workshop (@tallerartesanalfonqueta)

Nariño Appliqué

In the city of Pasto, Nariño, they weave woolen blankets which they then embroider with appliqué using cotton fabric and threads.

Nariño appliqué from cooperativa Ecotema

Infant of Prague Dress

When I was in Prague, Czech Republic, last year (2019), I was able to admire Ms. María Mercedes de Duque’s beautiful work. She made the Infant a dress embroidered with the Colombian national symbols.

The Infant of Prague’s dress.
The flag, the shield, and a map in gold with an emerald.
Pre-columbian gold artifacts, orchids and butterflies.
Can’t forget the coffee.
The artist, Ms. María Mercedes de Duque.

Author: emptyThimble

Embroidery and other fiber arts

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