Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



Silk Roads, Other Roads: Proceedings of the 8th Biennial Symposium of the Textile Society of America, September 26-28, 2002, Northampton, Massachusetts


Copyright 2002 by the author.


Silk appears frequently in many Mexican textiles and garments such as rebozos, skirts, and huipils or blouses. In this paper I discuss a different tradition, that of sampler embroidery in the urban style.

Yrene Escandon was reported to be a lady in waiting for Empress Carlotta, who reigned in Mexico with her husband Emperor Maximilien from 1863-1867. During this time and before entering a convent after her service she and some friends embroidered a sampler replete with floral, religious, animal, and bird motifs. Using this remarkable piece in the collection of the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe I will present a brief history of samplers in Mexico. I will then discuss the use of motifs in this piece and where they originated, and the sampler’s style as it relates to indigenous and colonial influences.