Reproducing the brocade from the Chinanteco Huipil

24 January 2015

This is the Chinanteco Huipil and details here,


To see if I truely understand the brocade I decided to weave some on the RH loom I have with me.  The original is 16/2 warp and my warp is 8/2 doubled so about 4x bigger.  Since the original designs are large I can’t make any of them so I’ll just make up my own, a simple stepped pyramid.
I am weaving this with the right side down.  This is the easiest way to weave this brocade because the turns are on the back.  I am now comfortable doing this because the Zapotec inlay I did on the backstrap loom is woven with wrong side facing the weaver.  Here is the back side of the huipil, this is what I will be seeing as I weave.


I’ll just do the brocade first to see If I can get the tie-downs right.
I started with a single 6-thread strand of the embroidery floss as the supplementary weft but it was too sparse so I pulled it out and started over with a doubled strand.

I’m picking up each row of brocade, I haven’t figured any way to use a pattern stick to mark the tie-downs ( because under two requires a slot and hole thread).  So the first couple of pick ups require attention and checking but once the pattern is set up you have a visual guide and the pick up is easier and faster.  Once I had the tie-downs under control I added a star figure in the center, this is underlay and what you see on the wrong side are long floats and on the right side it is just ground cloth.
So now there are 3 elements to control in each row of pick up: outer edge that determines the shape of the brocade motif, the tie-downs, and then the star shape in the center.  Once this is going well I added in the leno row every 7th .


Except for the size or scale it does look like the huipil.  I have been alternating colors too, red, other bright color, red…..

It seems to be going well and it does look like a large scale version of the brocade on the huipil, here is what you can see of the right side while it is still on the loom.



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