Mexican Style Blankets
The Mexican Style blanket made popular in many Western films to depict Mexican cowboys and South-western culture actually pertains to the flashy striped colorful weaved Falsa blanket that is often sported by Mexicans as a costume.
It also called the Saltillo serape because the Saltillo region in the north-eastern Mexican state of Coahuila has become the central textile industry famous for producing and exporting the locally woven serapes that started in the eighteenth until today.
- Mexican Style blanket and similar blankets
- History of the Mexican Blanket
- Features of Mexican Style blanket
- Uses of Mexican Style blanket
- The Best Mexican Style Blankets
Mexican Style blanket and similar blankets
Because of the brightly colored pattern of Mexican Style blanket, it is often confused with the Navajo blanket, which similarly features bright colors. However, the Navajo blanket is actually made by the Navajo Indians or Diyogí Native Americans in the US. Navajo blankets are distinctive in terms of weaving style called the lightning technique typified by pinking edges and a whacking distortion brought about by section by section weaving.
A more closely related blanket with the Mexican serape is the Rio Grande blanket, which is also characterized by colorful striped patters in different widths. The Rio Grande had its roots from the Saltillo weaving using the two-pieces-seamed approach. However, what sets the Rio Grande apart is the addition of a diamond design or an eight-pointed star called Valero, which is believed to be influenced by Americans in New Mexico.
History of the Mexican Blanket
The Mexican Style blanket or serape has become an emblematic image associated with Mexico. However, its history dates back during the Mesoamerican era before the country of Mexico was even born. The Aztecs considered as the prehistoric ancestors of Mexico, were already seen wearing bright colored blanket garments by western colonizers who first arrived in the region. The garments were made from a combination of cotton and agave fibers which are dyed with organic ingredient from crushed seeds, fruits and plants. Dressing in brilliant and vivid colors was believed to deflect evil spirits and advances approvals from the gods. The style and color were also used to identify social status. The more intense the colors and intricate the design, the higher the social position of a person.
During the Spanish conquest, a breed of domestic sheep called the Spanish Churro sheep was introduced in the Aztec region as well as other areas that were conquered by Spain. This paved the way for the natives to learn how to spin yarn, and with modest looms, knit mats and similar clothing. The churro's wool were also more absorbent of strong dyes, thus, opulent textiles of multi-colored streaks were produced. As the distance across the looms was relatively short, the layers are usually combined in the middle with a seam thereby creating symmetrical patterns of bigger pieces.
In Modern times, Saltillo serapes or Mexican Style blankets use a mixture of cotton acrylic and other synthetic fibers as materials. Industrialization brought about automation and the blankets are now machine-loomed. The vibrant colors of the fabric were maintained. However, the original artistry and craftsmanship by the Mexican natives who crafted the blankets by hand remains unsurpassed.
Features of Mexican Style blanket
While Mexican serapes have evolved into different nifty designs, its prominent and distinctive features remained unchanged, notably the stripy bands of colorful design. The biggest stripe usually serves as the primary color which is recurrent throughout weave, together with the secondary colors. Mexican style blankets are often composed of dimmer solid colors with bands of brighter colors such as yellow, orange or red. However, there are also designs the features tones of different color. For instance, a dark blue will serve as its primary color. Then different shades of blue will be used to compliment the main color such as Azure, Baby blue, blue gray, Safire, Iris, Bondi Blue, Byzantine blue and Capri among others. This gives the Mexican blanket a more classy appeal to conservatives and minimalists. Aside from the stripes of colors, the end of the blankets also adds with charm by different finishing styles of by adding ruffles or flairs.
Uses of Mexican Style blanket
The Mexican serape is one the most practical and multi-functional garments that you can use. Hereunder are its common usages:
- Blanket - the most obvious function of the Mexican blanket is to serve as a blanket for sleeping. It adds a little warmth and comfort for you to have a good nap or sleep.
- Sleeping mat - If the weather is too hot and you needed for a place to lie down in the outside, you can use the serape as a sleeping mat. It will help you get a more secured space to lie down on a lawn or a grassy area.
- Picnic Mat - Needless to say, you can also use the Mexican serape as a picnic mat, where you can sit with your families and friends or put your food and other important items during a picnic or when you eat al fresco so to speak.
- Pillow - If you fold the Mexican blanket, it can serve as a pillow or cushion for your head when lying down or for your buttocks when sitting down.
- Decoration - With its vibrant colors and attractive designs, Mexican Style blankets can serve as a decorative piece or accessory in your house. It can be used as a sofa throw especially for sofas or furniture with plain colors. The design of the blanket helps aesthetically but creates the illusion of making your room look larger.
- Shoulder Wrap - The Mexican blanket is usually worn by Mexicans as a shoulder wrap when attending social and cultural events. It adds warmth to your bodies like a jacket and provides styles to your dress or clothing.
- Table cloth - Mexican Style blankets can be used as a table cloth. Not only does it provide elegance to your table, it also helps in protecting your table from scratches and stains from food spills and other blemishes. The great thing about modern Mexican blankets is they are easily washable.
- Poncho - Mexican Style blankets are worn as a poncho to keep your body warm. It can also be used as a protection from drizzles or faint rains to keep your body protected and dry.
- Horse blanket - For horse riders and lovers, you can use the Mexican serape as a horse blanket. This will protect you from the hair of the horse which can be itchy and uncomfortable when it comes in contact with your skin.
- Room dividers - Mexican Style blankets can be used as a temporary screen or partition to divide a room into separate areas.
- Doorway cover - Some doorways or pathways in the house may require temporary covering especially during a fiesta or celebration to keep a separate room private or restricted. For instance, the doorway towards the kitchen may be covered by a serape when holding parties at home to preclude visitors from entering it.
- Window treatment - Serapes can be used as an accessory to curtain to add spice to its design. In some instances, the blanket itself is hanged to serve as curtain or temporary blocked the sunshine or cold wind from getting into the home.
The Best Mexican Style Blankets
Check out these great Mexican styled blankets that have vibrant colors, beauitful patterns and are plentiful in size.
This classic Mexican Falsa Blanket comes in a vintage style that has vibrant colors and a great horizontal pattern. It's made from fine Woven Acrylic and can be machine washed to keep it clean. Great for Yoga, Camping and keeping warm on the sofa!
- Made from Woven Acrylic
- Machine Washable
- Multiple colors And Designs
This heavyweight blanket is made from premium 100% recycled fibers, giving you a quality soft blanket. Coming in multiple colors and designs, this Mexican style themed blanket is great for Yoga, the beach and traveling. It's heavyweight feel will make you feel toasty and warm even on the coldest winters.
- Made from 100% Recycled Fibers
- Large size: 72 X 52 inches
- Multiple colors And Designs
This Mexican Blanket from Coal Creek is perfect for jazzing up your living rooms or brightening up a work office with vibrant colors. Made in Mexico, this blanket can be machine washed to keep it clean and ensure it's durability. Perfect as a gift, taking to the beach or Yoga mat.
- 50% Acrylic, 40% Polyester, 10% Cotton
- Large size: 73 X 48 inches
- 3 Colors and Designs
This lightweight blanket is great for wearing around your shoulders, taking to the beach or simply using as a throw for your sofa. The Mexican Style design promotes vibrant colors and it's soft material is delicate against your skin.
- Classic Mexican Colors
- Large size: 48 x 70 inches
- 3 Colors and Designs
This authentic Mexican blanket is handmade by incredible artisans, giving you a soft and beautiful blanket. Can be used as a bedspread, tablecloth and also useful for Yoga. It's a massive size makes it so it can cover most furniture in your house to give you that authentic Mexican look.
- 80% Acrylic, 10% Cotton, 10% Polyester
- Large size: 75 x 51 inches
- 2 different colors/designs