Bordado Colombiano

¡Feliz cumpleaños, Colombia! 20 de julio de 1810.

Para celebrar, vamos a hablar de algunos de los bordados colombianos.

En Colombia manda el tejido (algodón, lana, caña flecha, fique, calceta de plátano, etc.) pero el bordado también es apreciado.

Calado de Cartago

Comenzamos con el bordado más famoso, el calado de Cartago (Valle del Cauca.)

Penélope, monumento a la bordadora, Cartago, Valle del Cauca, Colombia.

Es una clase de bordado en blanco. Se hace sobre lino o algodón, pero tejido en ligamento tafetán. Se sacan los hilos y luego se vuelven a coser formando diseños geométricos muy lindos al sesgo o biés.

Calados de Cartago en progreso.

Los bordados se usan para decorar sábanas, manteles, cortinas, y las famosas guayaberas caladas

Guayabera calada

Bordado en lana de Fonquetá

En el altiplano cundiboyasense, se produce lana de oveja, y esto llevó al bordado de lana sobre lana.

En Fonquetá, Cundinamarca, se bordan las mantas de lana con hilos de lana.

Bordado en lana del taller artesanal de Fonquetá (@tallerartesanalfonqueta)

Gobelinos de Pasto, Nariño.

En la ciudad de Pasto, Nariño, se hace un bordado sobre paños de lana usando aplicados de tela de algodón, con detalles en hilos de algodón.

Gobelinos de Pasto de la cooperativa Ecotema

Vestido bordado del niño de Praga

Y cuando estuve en Praga, República Checa, pude admirar la labor de doña María Mercedes de Duque, que le hizo un vestido al divino niño de Praga con los símbolos patrios.

Vestido del niño de Praga.
La bandera, el escudo y un mapa en oro con una esmeralda.
Artefactos pre-colombinos en oro, orquídeas y mariposas.
Y el café que no puede faltar.
La artista, doña María Mercedes de Duque.

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.

The RSN USA Summer School

Two years (2018) ago I attend the RSN (Royal School of Needlework) Summer School in Lexington, Kentucky, in the United States.

Enjoyed it a lot and learned to do blackwork and whitework and stumpwork. I also bought a couple kits to learn goldwork and broderie anglaise (more whitework.)

Whitework pulled thread stumpwork brooch. Design by Sarah Rickards.
Blackwork initial (I added the beads.) Design by Annalee Levin
Goldwork cherries. Design by Annalee Levin
Broderie anglaise thimble. Design by Zinaida Kazban

I was supposed to go again this year (2020.) They were planning to have the USA summer school every two years, but COVID-19 put a damper on that.

So I decided to take one of their online self-paced classes this summer. I signed up for the Introduction to Jacobean Crewelwork class.

Online self-paced embroidery class

The class was great! I learned the basics of crewel. It’s very interesting working with wool threads. They tend to break more easily than cotton after a few stitches.

My own effort, the crewel pomegranate.

One of the ways to keep the wool threads from breaking, is to keep the stitch on the surface as much as possible. This is done with stitches like the raised stem stitch. You first create a supporting grid of horizontal stitches. The stem stitches will then go vertically under the supporting horizontal stitches, NOT through the fabric.

Raised stem stitch.

Other stitches that help cover large areas with minimal trips through the ground cloth are the trellis stitch (inside the pomegranate) and the woven wheel in the center of the petals to the lower right side.

It was a great class, I enjoyed it very much. Thanks to Deborah Wilding for teaching it!