CSWS Finding Aids Header

The Durango Collection®
Serape/Saltillo Serape: 1750-1940

Next item Last item
The most highly prized, finely woven blankets from colonial Mexico were known as "Saltillo serapes." These textiles, with intricate designs and rich color, were produced in workshops with a combination of Spanish and native Indian labor and woven all over ‘New Spain.’ They take their name from one of the main trade fairs located in Saltillo.

The Saltillo serape was a prestigous symbol worn by Spanish colonial gentlemen. Even in their time, the period from about 1700 to 1850, Saltillo serapes were very desirable items, and were passed down as family heirlooms.

The Durango Collection® contains a number of remarkable Saltillo serapes. These range from the most classic form, which show a central diamond medallion on a serrate diamond background in the pink to purple palette produced by cochineal dyes, to more unusual types, such as a diamond medallion serape with a banded cochineal and indigo background. Several examples in the Durango Collection® have concentric central medallions; one of these is a serape in predominantly indigo blue.