Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



Published in Silk Roads, Other Roads: Textile Society of America 8th Biennial Symposium, Sept. 26–28, 2002, Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts.


Copyright 2002 by the author(s). Used by permission of TSA.


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 1 863-1867. 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.