A serape is a long blanket-like shawl worn in Mexico, especially by men. The Saltillo serapes of northern Mexico were among the most distinctive textiles woven in North America in the 18th and 19th centuries. Long-associated with use by horsemen, they became a prestigious symbol of wealth and power for Spanish gentlemen. Saltillo serapes are of considerable size and were often used to adorn a gentleman’s horse on special occasions.
Saltillos are named for the town in the Mexican State of Coahuila where many were made. Woven of fine cotton and wool in two panels, each classic Saltillo contains four distinct elements:
- Extended size
- An outside border
- The field containing either a vertical mosaic, diagonal grid, or a spot repeat
- A concentric diamond or scalloped round center pattern
MRM COLLECTION: SALTILLO
This is a Mexican Saltillo woven in 1750. It consists of two separate panels sewn together, then sewn onto cotton muslin and mounted on a wood frame (This kind of mounting is for storage and preservation purposes only).
This Saltillo is 91” in length and 48” wide with an indigo border. A serrate, concentric indigo diamond is centered on a light background grid of tiny indigo diamonds. It contains all four of the standard Saltillo characteristics.