Featured Need Help Dating Saltillo Serape

Discussion in 'Textiles, Needle Arts, Clothing' started by Not Sure What This Is, Sep 18, 2021.

  1. Hi,
    This serape is different from most of the more recently made examples that I've seen in that rather than solid stripe after solid stripe with the "eye of God" in the centre usually seen, this serape is woven with patterning within wider horizontal stripes, the patterned stripes separated by the dark brown solid background colour. It's edged with brown and white roping, the type that I've often seen on dressing gowns of the 1940s and 50s. But, it's the colours that really make this different - bright purple and green and orange in addition to the red, yellow, medium green and brown. I know that collectors usually want intact fringe on serapes, but the roping looks contemporary to the serape. It is woven in wool, fairly tightly. Would you think 1930s or 40s, and is the missing fringe a big issue on this one?

    Mexican-Colourful-Serape-.jpg Mexican-Colourful-Serape-Forum.jpg Mexican-Colourful-Serape-2.jpg
  2. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

  3. Hi,
    Thank you very much for the information! Although the pictures may represent the warp as black, it's actually a very dark burgundy colour. I'm a little confused, because that roping around the edge is definitely old - I've been handling vintage clothing for about 45 years and can recognize old materials when I see them. I don't think that the piece is new, but I can understand that maybe it's not Mexican. I do have a question though - why is the warp always white? Could they not weave using a pre-dyed wool?
    LauraGarnet02 likes this.
  4. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    They use a cotton warp, which does not stretch like wool when it is under tension. No need to dye it as it is covered by the weft.

    Perhaps @Taupou can weigh in.
    Any Jewelry and LauraGarnet02 like this.
  5. Hi 2manybooks,
    You were right about it being a black cotton warp - I took some close-up photos that I've attached. The quality, however, still appears to me to be too good for a modern copy. Not that I think that this is super old, but I do think that it has some age. Serape-Close-Ups-1.jpg Serape-Close-Ups-2.jpg
    Potteryplease and Any Jewelry like this.
  6. I had forgotten that I knew someone who is quite expert in Mexican and Central American textiles, having dealt in them for 40 years. She told me that it is absolutely a Mexican serape. She addressed the issue of the black warp in this way: standardization is never guaranteed in Mexican textiles. They would use whatever materials that were available and, of course, this would be mitigated by whether it was made for personal use or for commercial sale. She also stated that serapes were not something that were generally copied elsewhere and if they are copying them now, they would not use pure wool.
    2manybooks and Any Jewelry like this.
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