I fell in love with Otomi (also called tenango) textiles on my first trip to Mexico as a child. It was on a buying trip for my mother's folk art gallery (GalerieBonheur.com), where we travelled throughout the country meeting local artists and artisans. The rich colors and images of the Otomi textiles fascinated me, while the texture of the embroidery also felt familiar, and approachable. I was smitten, and still am!
I love the history of the Otomi textile...that the intricate design has been a part of local women's dress for centuries. And that many of the images in the tenangos - animal and floral motifs- can be traced back to ancient cave paintings in the region.
While the images portrayed may be interpreted as primitive, the monochromatic textiles, which have become popular recently, have a distinctly modern look to them. With their saturated colors, and use of negative space, the evolution of this ancient craft is simply captivating.
I began incorporating Otomi textiles in the form of pillows and table cloths while I was an interior designer. I found that this exquisite form of embroidery, especially when monochromatic, could be used in all types of decor.
At Larkin Lane Designs, we purchase all of our Otomi textiles from artisans in Mexico. We hope that by supporting these local craftsmen and women, we can help preserve and perpetuate the legacy of the Otomi people.
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