Is the fabric in this vintage handmade dress Guatemalan?

Discussion in 'Textiles, Needle Arts, Clothing' started by Joan, May 25, 2022.

  1. Joan

    Joan Well-Known Member

    I'm puzzled about the country/region of origin of the fabrics in this dress (I bought it at a thrift store in rural Wisconsin). Maybe random pieces of material were sewn together by some creative person from the hippie-era (the seams are machine sewn). The style of needlework on the front inset piece looks familiar, but I've looked online and can't find anything exactly like it (I'm only guessing that it might be Guatemalan). The blue pinstripe material is kind of thick and possibly hand loomed (the vertical seam allowances show that it had a woven border design that was cut off). The material in the last photo looks like an ikat design. Any opinions and comments about the origin of the materials are appreciated.

    70sEthnicDenimEmbroidDress-1.jpg 70sEthnicDenimEmbroidDress-3.jpg 70sEthnicDenimEmbroidDress-4.jpg
     
    judy and Any Jewelry like this.
  2. wlwhittier

    wlwhittier Well-Known Member

    Almost random Ikat, yes...Nice, though...Thanks!
     
    judy and Joan like this.
  3. Joan

    Joan Well-Known Member

    Thank you.
     
  4. Debora

    Debora Well-Known Member

    Certainly might be Guatemalan. Seeing shape and length would help determining age.

    Debora
     
    Joan likes this.
  5. Joan

    Joan Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Debora. The shape was perfectly straight all the way to the bottom with 12" side slits at the hem. The overall length was 54.5", but the bottom was damaged, so I've ripped out the waist seam and cut off the damaged section and will re-attach it. I can make it as long as 48", but I think that length might look kind of odd, so may make it into a mini dress, which will be less expensive to ship and maybe more appealing to likely buyers, but I'm open to suggestions on the length. EDIT: I should have mentioned there was zig-zag stitching on the seam allowances around the waist, so I'm thinking it was home-sewn in the U.S.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2022
  6. wlwhittier

    wlwhittier Well-Known Member

    Will you offer it on eBay?

    Just a thought...as all the textiles are unique but overall the garment, with effort, is salvageable; why not list it just as-is, with the description you've shared with us? Others with your skills may find it appealing as a project.
     
    Silverthorne and Joan like this.
  7. Debora

    Debora Well-Known Member

    I think that's an excellent idea.

    Debora
     
    Joan likes this.
  8. Joan

    Joan Well-Known Member

    Thank you for those suggestions, but I'm close to having the remake finished. I get much more satisfaction out of doing my own restoration/remakes and then showing them off to my 450 eBay followers, although I don't always sell things for as much as I'd like to.
     
    pearlsnblume likes this.
  9. wlwhittier

    wlwhittier Well-Known Member

    Great! So, Joan...eBay, or ?

    I wanna watch...and perhaps bid!

    I'll need a username, if you'll allow...
     
  10. wlwhittier

    wlwhittier Well-Known Member

    "...I don't always sell things for as much as I'd like to."

    You ain't alone in that, Sister!
     
  11. Joan

    Joan Well-Known Member

    Oh gosh, now I'm kicking myself for mentioning that I'll be selling it on eBay...I purposely don't show my eBay username on this forum and don't give it out to friends and relatives because I feel uncomfortable having people I know watching my auctions....I know that probably sounds ridiculous.
     
  12. wlwhittier

    wlwhittier Well-Known Member

    Not. Perfectly understood, and accepted! Good Fortune!
     
    Silverthorne and Joan like this.
  13. Joan

    Joan Well-Known Member

    Thank you, I appreciate your understanding.
     
  14. Joan

    Joan Well-Known Member

    Thought I should update this thread since I have new information after doing more research on vintage textiles. I googled Guatemalan indigo textiles and found identical examples of the blue pinstripe fabric.

    I learned the material was traditionally made on a treadle loom (usually by men) to be worn as a tube skirt called a "morga" by Mayan women. Morga cloth for skirts has a special embroidery technique called a "randa" that holds two panels of the skirt together. When more than two panels are joined the randa forms a cross design.

    Some Mayan villages preferred a heavy or moderately heavy morga material, often with village-specific white or light blue stripes. Natural indigo dye was used in the past, but now a synthetic dye is used.

    I also found examples of Guatemalan embroidery similar to the top front of my dress, which is more like needlepoint than typical embroidery.

    Yesterday I saw a few "vintage Guatemalan dresses" made from indigo Mayan morga textiles, but none with sleeves or embroidery quite like mine (the examples looked more recent). Some dresses had ties in the back, so even though I had already finished the restoration of my dress, and since I had two narrow strips of the indigo material left from the damaged part I cut off, I decided to make ties and sew them to each side of the dress.

    I'm thinking since the embroidered part of my dress has surface wear and looks older than the dresses I saw online, I'm estimating it's ca. 1960s-70s. Here’s the finished product.

    Antiquers.jpg
    Antiquers-2.jpg
     
  15. wlwhittier

    wlwhittier Well-Known Member

    Bravo! Looks like 4 figures to me...Beautiful work, Joan. Thanks for the full-length follow up.
     
    Joan likes this.
  16. Debora

    Debora Well-Known Member

    What a pleasure to see your finished work. Dress looks fabulous. There's someone out there who will be delighted to have it.

    Debora
     
    Joan likes this.
  17. Joan

    Joan Well-Known Member

    Thank you wlwhittier and Debora.
     
Draft saved Draft deleted
Similar Threads: fabric vintage
Forum Title Date
Textiles, Needle Arts, Clothing Looking to id vintage bolt of fabric Mar 2, 2016
Textiles, Needle Arts, Clothing Vintage fabric by 'Pinewood Fabrics' Nov 4, 2015
Textiles, Needle Arts, Clothing Help with listing vintage fabric Jul 21, 2014
Textiles, Needle Arts, Clothing Medieval? Antique piece of fabric featuring an heraldic lion, mounted as a belt buckle. Dec 21, 2021
Textiles, Needle Arts, Clothing Old fan - Jenny Lind? What fabric? Sep 14, 2021

Share This Page