Thursday, November 8, 2012

Chimayo Style!

I remember the first time a friend showed me a woven piece and described it as being from Chimayò, which was a place I had never heard of. It is a small town in Northern New Mexico where folks have been weaving since the land belonged to Spain some 400 years ago. Through the changes in ownership from Spain to Mexico to the United States, people in Chimayò have been weaving. The tradition is strong there and the style is recognizable once you know it. Blankets, throws, runners, pillows, jackets, purses and tapestries share common design elements.

Woven in heavy wool yarns on floor looms the patterns are weft-faced and bold.
They typically include a central diamond motif against a plain background with banded patterns across both ends. Of course, there are many variations and innovations but the classic style appeals to me in a big way.
To read more about the history of weaving in this area, visit this page on the Chimayo Weavers website. You may get lost for hours there looking at all of the beautiful weavings. It is the site of master weavers Irvin and Lisa Trujillo and besides their own award winning pieces they also represent many other weavers from the community. 

During several trips to Chimayo, I've visited a number of weaving shops and talked to weavers, bought a few pieces and thoroughly enjoyed myself. On my last trip, I purchased and traded for a few purses for which I am weaving straps. One of the most awesome things for me is that I can use the same weight wool yarns and  match a pattern thread for thread. In these bags that are weft-faced, I have copied the striped designs in a warp-faced band and woven straps that match quite well.  I'm excited and want to do more!


  1. Wonderful job, Annie! I have woven one strap for a handwoven tote thus far. Haven't gotten around to sewing the tote (not my favorite part) - LOL!

  2. Chimayo is a wonderful spiriitual little town. Been twice. And beautiful work here. realized I haven't visited you in a while...