Monday, November 17, 2014

Remember Arpilleras?

Do you remember those three dimensional applique fabric pictures that were made in South America during the 1980s? They were sold at our local mall when the antiques show was in town. I had nearly forgotten that I owned several until I found them in one of my textile drawers when I was cleaning out this fall.

These pieces are delightful with their brightly-colored fabrics, stuffed fruits and figures, animals, and heavily embroidered plants and flowers. The ones made in Peru mostly depict pastoral scenes.

Peru is the land of the sun and mountain air. This piece is 19-1/2" x 20-1/2" with a crocheted orange yarn border.

The figures are usually shown in traditional activities like this man wearing a peach-colored shirt and shiny blue pants picking fruit off the tree. The fabrics throughout are varied and look similar to our cotton, wool, terrycloth, and flannel.

Note the heavily embroidered corn stalks and flowers. The sheep are woolly and soft. The background fabrics overlap and the raw edges are blanket-stitched.   

A stamp on the back indicates this piece was "Hand-made in Peru". The backing is burlap thus the name "arpillera."

Unlike the three-dimensional appliques in the large arpillera above, the ones in this picture are more traditional with edges turned under.    

Simple embroidery.   

Note the tufts of grass and the cactus spines.

 The embroidery goes right through to the back.

Another small piece with houses, girls, birds, trees--and the sun but no mountains. 

Love the two-leaf tree on the left . . .

. . . and the colorful one on the right :)

Copyright 2014, Barbara Schaffer

1 comment:

  1. These are terrific! I don't remember them, but I wasn't really quilting then.
    They remind me of Grandma Moses paintings which I love.