Textiles  of the North American Southwest
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Saltillo Poncho
ca. 1850

Catalog Information

Saltillo textiles were woven on treadle looms, often in long but relatively narrow pieces. To create wider textiles, such as this poncho, weavers produced two identical pieces that they seamed together, sometimes leaving an opening for the head. Creating pieces that match exactly is an impressive technical feat but is a common practice in many weaving traditions.

The region of Saltillo, in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila, was the earliest and most important center of Saltillo-style textile production, but these textiles also were produced in other parts of Mexico. To the south, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosí, Querétaro, Aguascalientes, and Guanajuato were major centers. The town of San Miguel de Allende, in the state of Guanajuato, was Saltillo's principal competitor. Diffused far beyond these production centers, Saltillo textiles inspired weavers from Guatemala to New Mexico.

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