The Arboles pillow is a one-of-a-kind pillow made with ikat fabric woven in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. The traditional motif symbolizes trees and water wells. Contemporary embroidery and mirror work enriches the handwoven amber orange fabric made in Calcutta, India.
19” x 19” (48 cm x 48 cm)
Front - cotton
Back - linen blend, in gray
Down feather pillow insert
Fabric origins: Guatemala and India
The turquoise and harvest gold handwoven fabric used for the pillow borders is from Guatemala and is a perfect example of the intricate technique of “jaspe.” During the seven years I lived in Guatemala, I developed a great appreciation for jaspe, the traditional technique for creating pattern in Guatemalan fabrics. It is known as “ikat” in other parts of the world. This fabric is from the area of Totonicipan, located in the Highlands of Guatemala. Driving through the Highlands, it was common to see men along the roadside laying out hundreds of yards of warp stretched on poles and binding threads in a resist-dye technique to create a pattern. The beautiful gold organic design is repeated in perfect form.
The center panel of contrasting orange handwoven fabric is embroidered in a brown chevron design, with embroidered gold medallions and delicate shisha mirror work. Eight small tassels decorate each side of the center panel. The group who wove and embroidered this fabric is a fair trade women’s development organization known as Sasha and based in Calcutta, India. I have had the opportunity to visit Sasha several times. Their work is always beautifully done. Preserving the traditional hand embroidery is of great importance to Sasha.