help: guadalajara madness!

by Grace Bonney

i’m a crazy pack rat when it comes to magazine clippings. i’ve been holding on to this clip from since december of 05 and have been trying to track down this traditional guadalajaran fabric for what feels like ages. this month mentioned a coverlet with a similar pattern but when i called the source they didn’t have it and didn’t know when it would be in (ugh). so i thought i’d appeal to my talented and oh-so-savvy readers. do you know where (in the usa) i can order or buy fabrics like this? i want this pattern (in , please!) in my home in some way and i’ll do just about anything to get it. any advice would be so, so appreciated. thanks!! [photo from cookie magazine, dec 205]

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  • i know, isn’t it divine?? i love the animals and the color. i can’t get enough of it. even after 6 months of staring at it….


  • Hey DS!

    I actually jumped a little bit when I saw this posting (and the domino spread) because I got a hand-embroidered coverlet just like this in Mexico (not Guadalajara, though) when I was there several months ago! Mine is dark pink and white, actually (I got a red and white runner). Try doing a search (ie Mexican embroidery, Mexican folk craft, etc.) that’s bit more general and you might have more luck.

    They are beautiful and I hope you find one you like :)


  • If you can’t find it anywhere, but love the color/design, maybe you could commission someone to recreate the design(s) into stencils, and then paint a wall or piece of furniture using them..or, hire someone to recreate the design and silkscreen it onto fabric….

  • That fabric is fantastico! It really is mesmerizing. And I love the usage. Why don’t you cookie magazine and ask, or find a back issue and see if they list sources in the back of the book?

    Casa Gregorio

  • kag

    in this case i’d really just like to have what i want, since i buy so little these days. i was just so bummed that domino’s sources seem to be falling through a lot these days. i’ve been having a really hard time with them listing trade only sources and not identifying them as such. we aren’t ALL designers ;)


  • the fabric is from a hotel in mexico that uses the fabrics for their rooms but sells runners made of the material. however, i emailed the hotel back in december and they don’t have the fabric on its own. and the runner is a non embroidered version (according to the person who emailed me). i asked my at cookie and they said it was best to ask that hotel.


  • with your help,
    I can probably fix you the same pattern as a vector/digital art and then you’d be able to transform it into the fabric.

  • thanks omernos! i’m trying to find an embroidered version to stick with that rich textured feel, but that’s a great offer, thanks!


  • Funny you should mention that about Domino’s sources. I fell in love with a mirror shown in their April issue. The source listed was a store in Utah. I called and called, but no one answered. Googling got me no results. I e-mailed Domino and was provided info for the manufacturer. It took multiple e-mails and phone calls to get someone there to refer me to yet another store in Colorado. After an unanswered e-mail, I finally got someone on the phone and she sold it to me. Hard to believe it took six weeks to buy a $49 mirror! I see that the same mirror is featured in this month’s Shop Etc. The manufacturer is identified as the source, and the article says stores are listed on the manufacturer’s website. Nope! Shop Etc. is also offering one mirror as part of their monthly contest. I’m sure the winner won’t know how lucky she is to have it handed to her!

  • Reminds me of some of the stuff by Lisa Fine. But I’m having a hard time getting any google results. I think she edits for House Beautiful. Maybe you could their editors?

  • What totally beautiful fabric!
    I heard about this really big fabric store in San Francisco called Britex. () They don’t have an online store, but they do have a mail order service. Maybe if you email them the photo they might be able to find the fabric for you.
    Also, you may have done this, but try looking through some books about Mexican or South American textiles. Its such a gorgeous pattern–it may very well be in a book, and maybe the book could tell you where the fabric comes from.
    Good luck!

  • Hi!
    Is that a print oncloth or is that a textile. If its a textile your best bet would be to actually go down to Mexico!!! Oaxaca makes beautiful ones but if you want somewhere closer opt for Tijuana where they import them.
    As another option you could always just silkscreen the print.

  • Love this so much. Last year in Cabo, I bought a tablecloth in a rainbow of this pattern for around $120. I haven’t been back, and haven’t seen anything like it on ebay. There site that sells a few individual napkins, but no larger pieces. I’ve been checking ebay for the past few months, but haven’t seen anything bigger than 11-inches square.

    Kate Spade (maybe I read this in ELLE a few months ago?) came out with a line of skirts and accessories this season inspired by the pattern. (She bought a lot of the napkins home from Mexico as a present for her husband.) As part of her new personalized stationary line, she makes one print with a multi-colored bird, but its so very pricey per piece.

    I’m dying to buy more, so if anyone has any US leads, please post!

  • Grace, do you sew a lot? You post all of this great fabric and I’m always curious what you do with it. I’m probably curious since I’m thread-n-needle impaired.

  • thanks for all the great tips, guys! those links from fiona are great!

    i actually don’t sew anything. i’m sewing inept. so i take advantage of my local sewing/fabric shop and bring them patterns and pictures of what i want. most shops are pretty good about being able to do that. i haven’t done anything with all my fabric yet. it’s just sitting in stacks on my sideboard, waiting to be used. some will be window seat cushions, some will be a shower curtain, some will be my dining room bench cushion and some well, it was so cheap it may just be inspiration for a room. ;)


  • A graphic designer I used to work with in San Francisco now is in the Moroccan import business, However, she is based out of San Miguel de Allende in Mexico and her family’s home is in New York. Her website is:

    Since she’s local in Mexico, and in the import business, maybe she can help.

  • Grace,
    There is a place in Texas, ,
    that says it deals in embroidered textiles from all regions of Mexico and Guatemala, including
    Oaxaca, and apparently they carry a large selection of tableware and bed linens.

    But I was thinking about Nathan Turner, the LA based antiques dealer who did the Mexican-themed party in Domino. He deals with textiles too — although I think is thing is really suzanis and ikats, you know, Turkish not South American — but he may have resources to share.

    Finally there is a textile expert here in the Southeast, , again she specializes in Eastern pieces but she is very scholarly and may point you the right way if you hit more dead ends.

    I’ll let you know if I find something more concrete!

  • i think that fabric was used TWICE in that domino issue–i bookmarked it at the time but i’ve thrown the issue out–there was one stylist/source that linked both uses. it may have been one of their editors/room stylists.

    it’s fantastic, i was really curious about it too.

  • Hi G:
    Previous posters such as mer and fiona are correct; the fabric appears to be an Otomi embroidered work (it is done on muslin, usu. with multcolored cotton thread). Many similar ex. can be found in Mexican import stores; fancier ones have needleworker do monochrom versions, which are sometimes considered less garish and more appealing to American customers. In NY, a good importer is Pan American Phoenix on the UES. They tend to have larger pieces for use as tablecloths, etc. You might try PAP; I THINK I’ve seen monochrom. versions there. The woman who runs the joint is pretty nice, and their goods are first-rate, if expensive. Short of that, a couple of my fave Mex. folk art places in Mex. City are Artes Populares Victor and the Green door. They MAY have the monochrom versions. They may nowadays have Web sites, and they prob. will still ship, though doing so from Mexico is dicey. (For that reason, I schlepped my star-shaped–you know the ones–glass and tin lamp for my kitchen from the Green Door, and I’ve carried home antiques from Victor–one of the best and oldest places in D.F. BTW, I used to live in Mexico, and I’ve been a big fan of Mex. folk art for years….) I think there’s still a place in L.A. called Arte de Mexico, or Artes de Mexico that imports a LOT of carved Mex. furniture–mostly colonial. They MIGHT carry fabrics… Also, I DID see the N. Turner domino story in which he used some embroidered works for party decor. I will have to say, though, from experience (I have a few of those embroidered pieces here) that the fabric is generally not super heavy duty, and it is hard to clean w/o running dyes, shrinking, etc. Plus, they usu. aren’t made in single pieces large enough to upholster something as large as the headboard shown in the pic.–you might have to join smaller pieces. I’d also be careful where and how I’d use such handmade fabrics. That said, the headboard rocks hardcore, and in a place not getting a lot of wear and tear, it’d really be fantastic. I kinda liked the idea of silk-screening the fabric, though, if you want to use it for big or heavy-use applications. Hope that’s helpful and not too discouraging. Good luck!

  • check out domino’s june issue: the pattern may be slightly different, though it looks REALLY close (?). the listing says it’s embroidered cotton by Costantino Cafe (212) 691-5101, here shown as a bedding coverlet. i’m blogging it today on AT:Chicago!

    Oh, page 49 in the June issue.

  • geez, if i would have read closer i would have seen that you ALREADY SAW IT IN DOMINO. sorry, grace! and good luck! it is so lovely.

  • heather

    thanks, but i actually called that source and they said they didn’t have it. hence, my search ;)


  • If you can’t find it anywhere, but love the color/design, maybe you could commission someone to recreate the design(s) into stencils, and then paint a wall or piece of furniture using them..or, hire someone to recreate the design and silkscreen it onto fabric….

    Do you mean commit plagiarism?

  • Just to chime in with one more comment on Domino and resources: Twice, to identify fabric, I’ve tried their “Find It” service (the chocolate button at the bottom of the webpage that says “let us help”) and both times I received an email with the name of the fabric house but no pattern name or number. They just said Scalamandre — not which pattern out of hundreds it was. I thought that was so odd :)

  • it’s not a fabric, it hand embroidered on cotton canvas, I am absolutely positive it is a costume made piece because they usually use several colors for each design (), it’s traditional otomi embroidery, widespread in the central west… they make this textiles in many different sizes for cushions or table runners or just to display on a wall or something… if you really want something like it try a mexican folk crafts dealer, or just come down to Guadalajara (Tlaquepaque nearby is the place to go for this sort of thing, Puerto Vallerta is close by too) and commission yourself.

  • from what i can tell, this is a traditional pattern that is repeated and reused ALL over mexico. doesn’t seem like plaguerism to me. at least not so much to get bent out of shape about.


  • In the Domino story, it says Nate Turner picked-up the textiles at a market. A photo shows him holding them in several color choices (but not multi-color, white with one bright color.) Then in the other Domino feature the coverlet in a similar pattern is shown. The editor says Nate’s fabric inspired them to find the coverlet.

    Don’t worry, no more comments!

  • I’ve emailed PAP in NYC asking about it. Also, a friend of mine works at domino, I’ll ask her, too… I know they spend a lot of time researching the sources, so if you get a wrong one or two, its probably cause it (like most mags) is made two months before they come out, and also– sources don’t always give accurate info.

  • i bought this fabric (in orange & white) in Los Cabos while there for my wedding. the headboard in the photo looks exactly like ours so i’d venture to say it was taken at the same resort we stayed in – One & Only Palmilla. the resort’s gift shop sells them for around $285 but the local shops in neighboring San Jose sold them for $235.

  • Here is that headboard fabric at the One and Only resort, Mexico! See photo of the beachfront junior suite.

    Good Luck


    Please copy and paste the below link in a browser:
    |btnId=2|&resortXmlFile=palmilla.xml|resortBtnId=1|subBtnId=null|title=Mexico-Accommodation-Beach Front-Patio Junior Suite

  • Ok. this is funny. I got back YESTERDAY from Cabo. This print is the tablecloth design at Las Ventanas hotel. They also sell the table cloths in the gift store. I loved this print so much that I went into town and bought a HUGE tablecloth. (can be made into anything, pillows, etc) They are in EVERY SINGLE little shop in cabo. If you call Las Ventanas, they will direct you to the right place.

  • grace-
    A retail store in Atlanta sells this fabric as ‘tablecloths’, and are about the size of a topper…less than 2 yards, but a little more than 1. I fell in love with this fabric as well, but decided not to buy it when I saw the price tag- around $250 for the one piece, if I remember correctly. If you are still dying to have it (even at that price), just send me an email and I’ll do some research to turn up the name of the store. I held out thinking I would be able to find a cheaper source somewhere. So far, I haven’t!

  • Sara,
    If you don’t mind saying, is it Erika Reade in Atlanta? Or one of the shops in the Howell Mill area?

  • Ironico, I just landed from Mexico City and print was rampant there as well. Sorry, wish I had read your post sooner and I would have picked some up for you!

  • there is a great store in Mexico City that sells the most authentic and beautiful craft work: it’s called VICTOR. it’s owned by two amazing elder women that have a true knowledge of the countrie’s secret crafts. call them or email them.
    [email protected]

  • Just came across some red and white, hand blocked, cotton fabric in “selvedge” magazine. Company’s name is Les Indiennes, . They’re out of Arizona and looks like they have retailers all over. Don’t see an exact pattern match, but some similar floral. It’s red, anyway!

  • I’m from Guadalajara & highly doubt that this headboard cover was made there. It is very detailed embroidery, the kind of embroidery you can only find in Oaxaca. You can see this piece is high quality by the embroidery and rich color of the materials/fabric. Buying a similar piece from anywhere else would be like buying Mexican Talavera from Arizona (Talavera is a tile/ceramic that undergoes a special process and it’s good quality,functional and beautiful it is made in Puebla). I will be traveling to Mexico in June 2007 (Oaxaca,Guanajuato,Guadalajara & Puerto Vallarta). If you like I can look for this piece or get a similar one. I can also ask one of the local artisans to make this piece. Some of the local artist have ties with the Mexican Fine Arts Museum In Chicago.

  • I carry these items in my store in Manhattan Beach, CA. You can call me to special order it. Go to my website for information We can send it to you.

  • Hi,
    I live in Sayulita, Mexico. I just got back from Tlaquepaque in Guadalajara and they have this fabric in every color in the rainbow and any size from 12″x12″ up to 10’x10′. They have napkins, and table runners, and bedspreads and pillows at Mona’s fabric store in Tlaquepaque Zona Centro. The large size (10’x10′) is $200 USD. They sell the same here in Sayulita for $350 USD. It is nicely hand-embroidered manta (kind of like muslin). They said the Otomi Indains make it. I also saw that very same headboard at a furniture gallery in Tonala. That style is usually made from Mezquite- a hardwood native to Mexico.

  • Hi – I noticed that my textile study is mentioned in the blog. I do have a small store on Ebay which sells these textiles as a way to support my documentation project. There 2×2 meter bedspreads and table runners 1×1 meter placemats.
    I see that a visitor got these when many of the items we sold out, it happens!
    The mexican indignous textile study is a private effort ot document Mexico endangered indigenous costume. If you are interested in learning more about these Otomi textiles, check out the Otomi of the Sierra of Hidalgo

    thanks Bob Freund

  • Stefanie got in before me but I was about to mention Jacaranda Home, which I discovered only yesterday. Funny how fate works… This is a beautiful fabric and I was sorely tempted, but had to admit to myself that right now, I have nowhere to put it …

  • Sounds like you are getting some leads for the fabric! I can’t wait to see the finished product. What a grand and beautiful headboard!

  • If you haven’t found the fabric you’re looking for, here are some suggestions:
    Let me know if we can help you with any of your fabric needs. Thanks.

  • I don’t know if you’re still looking for this or not but I bought this exact bedspread in gold from Zocalo in Tucson about 3 weeks ago. They also had it in red like the picture and a variety of other colors and had matching pillows. They are a Mexican import store and regularly stock the quilt. They don’t have a website but the number is: 520-320-1236

  • Hi! this embroidery is called “tenango” because it is made in the village of Tenango de Doria, in the state of Hidalgo, México. It should be easy to find in Mexico city, although I don’t know if they ship them to USA. I hope the name is useful! (I’m from Hidalgo.)

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