Vintage Guatemalan Huipile

Tac Tic Green Birds


Out of stock


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These Vintage Guatemalan huipiles are all sourced from my friend who lived in Guatemala for many years and worked with textiles. She bought them through her local connections. Please bear in mind that these are all vintage, one-of-a-kind pieces, created in family homes and have been worn. For me, with heirloom handwork pieces, I love to think of the stories told, dreams held and life experienced over the time they were being stitched as well as when they were being worn. This unique energy imbued in them makes them so special. More so considering the disposable, corporate culture of fast fashion that we live in today where heritage skills are marginalised because they don't fit into a capitalist model.

 I love the versatility of these pieces. I have worn them in summer with shorts as a T-shirt and in winter with a jumper underneath and jeans or palazzo pants or as a cropped top over a dress. I have worn them out to parties and to ceremonies out to lunch and out to the shop. I love the beauty and colour of them and the weight of the heavy cotton and embroidery thread.

I have given measurements and some notes. All measurements are flat in inches. If there is one you love, please feel free to whats app + 44 7912662387 me if you want to for some amateur pictures/ video. Anyway, before I post any, if I see something more than mild wear and tear that I haven't drawn attention to. I will contact you and check in. They are all on cotton bases. All of the arms can be unstitched further to make them bigger. Some of the necks are already slashed at the side to make the opening bigger, some are not. The few that are unstitched at the sides can be stitched up to leave arm holes as big as you need. Directly below are brief notes on the individual piece, and below that a few words about Guatemalan huipiles.


34" wide. 15.5" long . arm hole : 7" . Neck 7" plus 1.5" slit
velvet piping around neck and arms


Guatemalan Huipiles [ˈwipil] (from the Nahuatl word huīpīlli [wiːˈpiːlːi]) is the most common traditional garment worn by indigenous women from central Mexico to Central America. It is a loose-fitting simple poncho, generally made from two or three rectangular pieces of fabric, which are then joined together with stitching, ribbons or fabric strips. There is an opening for the head and, if the sides are sewn, openings for the arms. Traditional huipiles, especially ceremonial ones, are usually made with fabric woven on a backstrap loom and often have designs woven into the fabric. They are painstakingly decorated with hand embroidery. The sheer number of careful, precise stitches on the huipiles I have is so beautiful.

Lengths of the huipil can vary from a short blouse-like garment or long enough to reach the floor. It is usually worn tucked inside the skirt, in which case the area below the belt is typically left undecorated and even unfinished. Some areas, however, wear the huipil loose, over the skirt. Until the mid-20th century and the terrible internecine fighting of the ‘80s, as with most traditional folk costume, the designs on the huipiles were indicators, not only of the village but also of the status of the wearer, so that in a market, for example, a large amount of information could be deduced simply on sight. A woman normally continued to wear her village’s patterns even after marriage to a man from a different community, although customs varied. Many huipils have intricate and meaningful designs

 Ceremonial huipils are the most elaborate and are reserved for weddings, burials, women of high rank and even to dress the statues of saints. Traditional huipils, especially ceremonial ones are rare and very hard to find. The Maya around the Highlands of Guatemala do not sell authentic huipils for use on Handbags. In each village, the women weave and wear huipils in the traditional colours of that specific village.

Because of the tourist market in Guatemala, increasing numbers of huipils are made to satisfy demand. They are usually poorly made with cheap cotton and machine embroidery, but even so can be quite decorative. Not all communities were rich enough to use the most expensive materials, especially quantities of real silk, which had to be imported, and the finest cotton, but these ritual garments are always beautifully made and until very recently, genuine ones were rarely parted with.