Mexican Samplers

Mexican Samplers

The Spanish terms for sampler are dechado, or muestra de bordado. Mexican samplers tend to use vibrant colors, and often demonstrate multiple techniques and traditions in a single piece. Most use reversible stitches, so the back is as neat as the front. Mexican samplers were not generally meant to be framed so motifs are often placed haphazardly.

Mexico is a large and diverse country whose history is filled with the influence of many different cultures. Each has had a significant impact on Mexico's needlework traditions and together provide insight into the diversity of Mexican samplers.

19th century Mexican textile sampler

Mexican Band Sampler

Circa 1830
Materials: Silk on hand woven linen
Dimensions: 31.5" H by 19.5" W
Stitches: Cross, double running, long-arm cross, herringbone, satin, four-sided, Aztec, braided, drawn thread, overcasting, needleweaving, antique hem.
Collection of Lynne Anderson

Mexican cross stitch sampler

Mexican Motif Sampler

Circa 1850
Materials: Cotton on linen
Dimensions: 14" H by 19.75" W
Stitches: Cross, long arm cross, double running, split, straight, back, and satin
Collection of Queenstown Sampler Designs

This sampler is filled with motifs illustrating a uniquely Mexican blend of cultures.

Bonifasa Flores' 19th century Mexican sampler

Bonifasa Flores

Circa 1860
Materials:Silk on fine linen
Dimensions: 15" H X 17.5" W
Stitches: Satin, Long and short, stem, French knots
Collection of Lynne Anderson

Bonifasa Flores probably stitched her beautiful motif sampler at a convent school in one of Mexico's urban areas. This is suggested by her use of the difficult shaded embroidery technique, the presence of motifs suggesting academic religious instruction, and a signature in cursive letters.