When last we talked, I went over 4 of the huipiles. That left a 5th to dissect and another woven piece to analzye.
Huipil #5 was my absolute favorite. The rich colors and intricate design drew me to this one when I noticed it folded and laying on the shelf in the store. When I pulled it out and opened it up, I fell in love! Look at all that brocade!
This was like looking at a tapestry, especially when I finally opened up the side seams and spread it out.
This last piece truly intrigued me when I pulled it out of a pile. I loved all the animals depicted on it, especially the kitties. This was not a huipil. It was probably a wrap-around skirt called a “corte” [CORE-tay] or perhaps a “tzute” [ZOO-tay] which is any kind of square or rectangular utility cloth. You can see the very wide randa that was used to join the 2 panels together. After a lot of thinking and debating with myself, I eventually made the decision to sacrifice the randa and break it into the 2 panels. Remember, I mentioned that these are all used pieces. The fact that the randa was a bit soiled in spots helped me to not feel as guilty about taking out this beautiful handwork. That and the fact that the 2 faint vertical lines about 1/4” from the outside edges of the randa were machine topstitching and I didn’t like how they looked!
Once I had roughly decided how I was going to break up the various textiles, I found I had time to start dissassembling them. Of course, here I was in a hotel room with no stitching tools of any kind handy. But, being that we needleworkers are resourceful and I was determined, I went hunting. On the shelf in the bathroom I found the complimentary hotel sewing kit (2 straight pins and a rather formidable needle) and lurking in my suitcase was a small nail clippers. Armed with these primitive tools, I started taking out seams and ripping out turned and embroidered neck edges! McGuyver’s got nothin’ on me!!!
When I had done all I could with my tools, I then had to make a list of the canvas sizes I thought I was going to need. After all, I had 1 ½ days in the City. I’d better make good use of my shopping time and that ½ day had to be spent buying groceries (ugh!) before we headed back to San Rafael.