Something that has been catching my eye recently is a beautiful embroidery design called OTOMI.
Named after the dialect spoken by the people living in the Tenango Valley of Hidalgo of Mexico.
Otomi became more commercial in the 60s after a severe drought forced the people to find alternative sources of income, although its roots can be sourced back to Spanish and Aztec roots. The design features animals and flowers, symbolising man’s connection to nature and it is thought that its origins lie with cave paintings found in the region.
Most of the embroiderers work in collectives which are registered by the government, ensuring fair pay. They are mostly women, of all ages, it is undertaken in homes, in the market and on the street. Otomi empowers them as it is often the only source of income in their family. This craft is a very sociable profession done with a lot of pride!
The process: Water soluble pen is used to sketch deer, hares, armadillo, fish roosters and agricultural scenes….The balance of clear space around the objects is observed and designs are fluidly done with much repetition. Stencils are not allowed and the quality of the drawing has a clear impact on the end result.
The stitching is done by catching the thread on each side (satin stitch) with the facing side showing the design. This saves on the quantity of thread used. Created on natural cotton, using silk or cotton thread, this art has a place in contemporary and traditional interior design. The trend towards artisanal design means it could not be a better time to add a little bit of Otomi to your home! This is no mass market production by machine from Asia and is therefore a highly prized craft, fair trade means the prices are high and it is seen as a luxury product to be appreciated for years to come.
A more affordable option is to buy pieces which you could use to make cushions or frame for instant impact!
There really is no boundaries for this wonderful art!
Suited to classic or contemporary homes, with or without lots of colour this is a wonderful way to add an authentic touch to any space…….
As you can tell I just LOVE Otomi and look forward to supporting those wonderful ladies from Tenango with some purchases for our home renovation soon!!!
Thanks for reading!