The word Huipil is actually a Nahuatl word, hailing from the single largest language group of Mexico. Interestingly, almost all indigenous places in Mexico and Guatemala are Nahuatl words - even in areas where the mighty Toltecs never stepped.
A traditional huipil from Guatemala is made from two pieces, with the most authentic pieces woven on back strap looms. Other huipils are sewn from cotton and then elaborately embroidered by hand.
This piece was made from black cotton, and hand-embroidered. It is sometimes tricky to know the difference between hand-embroidered and machine embroidered, especially when purchasing online. Machine embroidery has paper on the back of it, and even if the paper is removed, the string that is used to catch the stitches on the back of the fabric are white. It would be far too time consuming for an artist to change the colors of the back-strings for each color they use on a machine - making machine made embroidery easy to spot. Machine made embroidery is also far more delicate than that which is hand-stitched, as often one pull will lead to the unravelling of the design. With hand-stitched work, the stitches are knotted, making it much more durable.
We guarantee that this piece is hand-embroidered. It was created by Maya artist Benita Juarez of San Antonion Aguascalientes.