This post-1980 woman's huipil was hand-woven on a backstrap loom. The foundation fabric is very fine white cotton. The finely-brocaded geometric designs were added during the weaving process using the technique of supplemental-weft brocading. All brocading is of cotton and artificial silk. The huipil consists of two panels, seemed at the edges to form the garment. Two of the lower edges are selvage-finished; the other two have a cut hem that is somewhat ragged with loose warp ends. The adornment around the head- and arm-holes is retained. The stitching under the arm-holes is still present, so that the garment can be used as originally intended.
Measurements: 35-36 inches wide and 29 inches shoulder to hem. The woman from whom I bought this huipil said it was used for special occasions, not for daily use. She is 70 years old and lives in Nahuala, and my wife and I have been buying from her for over 12 years, so I have every faith in the veracity of her information. The mythical figures look like lions or dogs on their hind legs. Among these larger figures are a variety of smaller images of stars, birds and other animals -- a quite fascinating study i n design!
Condition: Very Good, showing some light use, some very slight soil is possible, some few loose threads. Both sides are pictured, since the brocaded designs and overall layout are somewhat different. There is some mild running in the color from the red threads. The women of Nahuala do not find this objectionable, and actually seem to admire this trait, since the color runs emulate what happens to old silk threads when washed. This is a very beautiful and unusual example of traditional backstrap weaving which is becoming increasingly hard to find -- younger women seem not to be interested in learning the very tedious and time-consuming backstrap weaving process.