This machine-stitched embroidered table runner with all its detail and color nuances replaces the traditional hand embroidery and brocades from fifteen years ago in Zinacantan, Chiapas, Mexico. The local dress of women’s blouses, shawls, and skirts, and men’s tunics are stitched with a lavish field of flowers inspired by the abundance of their cash crop–hothouse flowers.
The brown base cloth is handwoven on a backstrap loom. A zigzag brocade pattern is woven in bands near the edges; the ends finished with a short, twisted fringe. The flowers range in color from tans, browns, and rusts with gold accents.
Since we don’t tend to wear fanciful shawls, the artisans have adapted the machine-stitched embroidery techniques to make runners, thus providing us a floral bouquet for our table year round. You can read more about the Zinacantán artisans and their handwork here.