Brown Mexican Textiles

Winston Churchill said many things well. And he commented on many things.  But who knew he had an opinion about color? The esteemed Mr. Churchill said, “I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colors. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns.”

This post is in honor of the poor browns. They tend to take a back seat to their fellow colors, especially in Mexico. These textiles were discovered at the bottom of the pile, underneath the pinks, roses, reds, yellows, bright oranges and greens. They are a quieter bunch. I do think they have a certain beauty. But they don’t always stand out. They are good listeners. They don’t talk unless they have something to say. They shine when they are on their own. They never compete for attention.

Many of these camino de mesas (table runners) or placemats are woven of a natural brown cotton called “coyuche,” a word that comes from the Nahuatl word for coyote. On the other hand, it is possible that it is white thread dyed to look like coyuche, according to research done by an amazing textile archivist by the name of Karen Elwell. Her many photos of Mexican textiles and clothing are always instructional. Her Flickr photostream is right here.

The  photos below are the textiles I currently have in the shop. CLICK on the photograph to take you to the shop. Some are in the online store, but if not, just send me an email on the form at the bottom and I’ll let you know if it’s available!

Handmade Mexican Textiles

Mexican Textile from Teotitlan de Valle, Oaxaca

Mexican Textile, Table Runner from Chiapas

Handmade Mexican Textiles, Teotitlan

Handmade Mexican Textiles

Handmade Mexican Textiles

Handmade Mexican Textiles, Otomi Textiles

Handmade Mexican Textiles, Guatemalan Textiles

I couldn’t resist with the last photo. Brilliant color with the poor brown.


Handwoven Scarves or Table Runners from Chiapas

Colorful Table Runners from Chiapas

I love color! And I’m so ready for it when it’s 1 degree and snowing. These very pretty and colorful scarves or runners were handmade by Jolom Mayatik in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico.  Jolom Mayatik is one of several women’s cooperatives in Chiapas promoting the amazing back strap weaving skills of so many highland women.

The scarves (or table runners) come in several different colors and are 11″ wide by 68″ long.  The color is so exuberant!

Here are a few more shots of color…Enjoy!

Table Runner textile

Cotton Scarves from Chiapas

Hand woven Textile

These scarves are available in the Zinnia Folk Arts online shop, right here.