Scope out Some Amazing Vintage Guatemalan Textiles with Amira Marion
The beauty of Archive New York’s pillows is in the fabrics and the patterns, sure, but it’s really the company’s name that says it all. Amira Marion, the label’s fearless leader, set out to create the brand to—yep, you guessed it—archive some of the rarest, most unique textiles in Guatemalan history, reproducing them in embroidery or digitally printing their motifs on silk. Here, Amira walks us through five of her all-time favorite finds—some of which have made their way onto her company’s catalog.
“This is a pair of men’s shorts from another village, Santa Catarina Polopo, just a few miles away from Solola. In the sixties and seventies, all the textiles in Santa Catarina were red, but one day the weavers decided they were ready for a change. So now all of the textiles are blue. I love how this fabric got faded by the sun.”
“This sixties textile is from Santiago Atitlan, another village also on Lake Atitlan. I have seen so many textiles from this village, but they now have a machine doing the embroidery instead of this thick hand embroidery. I work with Maya Traditions, a non-profit on Lake Atitlan, to recreate this textile for my collection!”
“I love these brocade textiles from the village of Tecpan. When the Spaniards came to colonize Guatemala, they brought over their brocade technique, which they integrated into Guatemalan weaving in an amazing way. I love the combination of traditional tribal motifs with the European brocade florals. That’s my Tecpan pillow in the bottom corner! I took a portion of the original textile, enlarged it, and brought the colors back to their original splendor.”
“This blue fabric is from Tactic, which is a town outside of Antigua. I really love the simplicity of the polka dot motif—it’s the origin of my pillow for Of a Kind! I’m currently working with an artisan group in Tactic to recreate this textile with the traditional back-strap loom.”