We can trace centuries of history and tradition in the Mexican textile art of drawing with thread. In terms of weaving and embroidery, Mexico has a wide range of customs, landscapes, and cosmogonies.
Mexican pre-Hispanic textile arts and clothing are greatly influenced by the region's pre-Hispanic past. Throughout history, each culture has developed techniques and styles that have endured to this day, giving us beautiful garments that we can enjoy and wear. Over 2,500 years ago, the first traces of Mexican embroidery were found in tunics and cloaks that were used to wrap the deceased of the nobility.
As embroidery became more popular in each region, the designs took on a different meaning. Currently, each culture references natural elements of its own region, such as its flora and fauna. These are a few examples of Mexico's main embroidery types and regions.

OAXACA - Bordado de Tehuana

Bordado de Tehuana

In San Lucas Ojitlán, Oaxaca the Chinantec culture stands out for its incredibly colorful designs in which red, pink, and purple predominate. Additionally, their embroideries reflect aspects of their worldview, from the origin of the universe to the duality of life and death. In Tehuana costumes, the "cadenilla" embroidery technique uses chains attached to dark velvet canvases to depict flowers of different sizes, colors, and shades. Tehuana huipiles and suits, which are traditional to the Isthmus, are decorated with these flowers. Would you ever like to travel to Oaxaca? Check out our blog where we talk about all the fun things to do there. Click here to read now!

CHIAPAS - Bordado Tsotsil

Aguacatenango In Chiapas there is a great embroidery culture in different regions. The Tsotsil community in Zinacantan is famous for backstrap loom weaving with designs on huipiles, shirts, and napkins. These textile crafts have an important Mayan influence and combine different colors, shapes and symbols. Aguacatenango's Tzeltal weavers use backstrap looms to weave white blouses, dresses, nightgowns, tablecloths and pants. In this mural, rhombuses represent the cosmos and animals like snakes, toads, and scorpions. The flowers are decorated with vibrant colors such as fuchsia and red. Check out our Aguacatenango Blouse here!

HIDALGO - Bordado Otomí


Otomi embroidery is one of the most popular inside and outside the country. The works represent elements of nature embroidered on mantles of white cloth. The main colors they use are white, blue, yellow and black, accompanied by green, orange and yellow lines. The embroidery process begins with choosing a material, such as a blanket, silk, linen or cotton. The drawing is then traced with a black marker. The silhouette is traced, colors are chosen, and embroidery begins! ⁠

VERACRUZ - Bordado Nahua

Bordado Nahua


Cotton and wool have been the bases for the textile art of the region with mainly Nahua and Totonaca origin. Wool shawls, for example, are made in the high and cold regions of the state. The artisans take care of the whole process; from the grazing and shearing of their sheep, the processing of wool and painting with pigments from flowers, minerals and plants. The creativity of Totonac women was expressed through the colors, shapes, textures and techniques embodied in the fabric, showing the cosmogony of the creation of the world, the symbolism of time, communal life and the universe.

 MEXICO CITY - Bordado Mazahua

Bordado Mazahua

Mazahuas women learn to embroider from a very young age, so textile art in this region is connected to female identity. Mazahua textile art displays symbolisms of hope, love, hunger, and death. It is also said that it will depend on the state of mind of the one who weaves or who wears the clothing. In Tenancingo, works of art are made with 100% cotton thread and woven on a pedal loom or on a backstrap loom. The tradition of spinning rebozos here began in 1908, when the first workshop to make them was installed.

Textile art has an important cultural significance in Mexico, and we must honor, respect, and carry it with pride. Our traditions deserve to be shared, so let's do so!

Despite not being able to list all the embroidery designs found across Mexico, it is very important to us to know which one was your favorite? Is there a particular design you would like us to carry in the future? Leave your opinion in the comment section below! Gracias!

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  • Kristin on

    Love this post! It really brings to life the significance of the beautiful patterns. And as someone who is Mexican American, I love learning about my Mexican culture in more depth through the textile artistry found across Mexico.

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