The Pobrepollo pillow celebrates the ikat technique in a formal style of fine elegant Guatemalan weaving and the incredible story telling ikat from Indonesia depicting a man and his chicken. Complimenting these fabrics is a patchwork style embroidery from Pakistan. This one-of-a-kind pillow will stimulate conversation and be a statement piece where ever placed in your home.
21” x 21” (53.3 cm x 53.3 cm)
Front - cotton
Back – suede, in aubergine
Polyester pillow insert
Fabric origins: Guatemala, Pakistan, Indonesia
During the seven years I lived in Guatemala, I developed a great appreciation for the “jaspe” or “ikat”,
a traditional technique for creating patterns in Guatemalan fabrics. This fabric is from the area of Totonicipan, located in the Highlands of Guatemala. This fabric is a double jaspe as the warp and weft are both dyed for patterns. As I drove through the Highlands, it was common to see men laying out yards of warp stretched on poles along the roadside and binding threads as a resist before dyeing to create the intricate jaspe designs. And all the tying was done from memory! This fabric has an interesting design element, with the insertion of subtle thin purple weft stripes playing against the black background threads thus creating a muted dark purple color.
This pillow also combines a piece of traditional embroidery from Pakistan used on the upper right. The embroiderers are women from the remote areas of the province of Sindh. Pieces of recycled fabric are embroidered, embellished, and hand-stitched. Mirror work, or shisha, is added for that extra sparkle and held in place with crochet stitches. When not tending the fields or harvesting crops, the women embroider in a group while sitting together side by side on the floor. Embroidery is a mark of pride for the Sindhi culture. Whoever makes the better embroidery is respected for her craftsmanship. No wedding is complete in Sindh where these embroideries are not given in the form of dowry to the bride. My friend, Fahad, sends me the embroidery. His organization, Dominion Traders, has been a long time partner of Serrv. Unfortunately, I had to cancel several work trips to Pakistan due to U.S. State Department travel advisories. Someday I will meet these women and Fahad!
The third textile is from the island of Sumba in Indonesia. In the early 1990’s, I traveled to Indonesia and fell in love with ikat. The majority of Indonesian ikat in my collection are pieces that I bought in Ubud, Bali, and hand-carried back with me. Most pieces were made on the island of Java. But, the Sumba ikat is special. The Sumbanese weavers always tell a story through their ikat designs. They are boldly graphic and rich in anthropomorphic figures and recognizable animal figures. The imagery is taken from the island’s belief system, customs, natural surroundings and daily life. The piece used in this pillow shows a man ready to slaughter a chicken! The Sumbanese weavers are truly master craftsmen in the ikat technique.