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Chiapas Traditional Clothing

The state of Chiapas in the South of Mexico is full of living cultural wealth.  Walking through its city streets you’ll feel its architecture, culture, the warm of the people that invite you to stay and know more about this wonderful place.

Chiapas is a tourist destination of excellence.  It’s full of natural landscapes: forests, canyons and diversity in flora and fauna. Chiapas has world recognized historic sites: Palenque, Bonampak, Yaxchilan, Tonina, Chinkultic.  This is the archaeological route that you should not miss, and you will be fascinated by the life of past civilizations.  Chiapas is the second state with most indigenous groups, with many of their cultural customs preserved today: dialects, traditional Chiapas clothing, artistic and artisan expressions.

Many of our handicrafts come from this beautiful state made by indigenous artisans using millennial techniques such as the waist loom.  They represent centuries of cultural traditions inherited from generation to generation.   They transform their thread into beautiful clothing or other home decorations.

Textiles of the Regions of Chiapas

Los Altos de Chiapas, in English called the Highlands of Chiapas, is a region that suffices in the production of textiles.

San Andres Larrainzar is famous for producing textiles using waist looms.   This technique is considered millenarian, and it is a true art to elaborate different figures in the loom.  The original garments are straight-cut huipil blouses, ideal to wear with tight jeans or leggings and some heels. In San Andres you can also find blouses with much more versatile cuts and of course with the embroidery in waist line.

San Juan, also belonging to the Highlands, produces embroidery with shapes in small circles well defined by a stitch similar to a chain. This region offers colorful dresses with simple designs to highlight the embroidered look.  The fabric that is used in the production of these textiles is generally cotton or cotton manta. Ideal clothing for the summer that certainly cannot be missed in your suitcase when you go on vacation.

Ocosingo, stands out among from the others by using among its embroidery millennial techniques used by the ancient Maya civilization. Today it is commonly known as “picado” and it is a very fine embroidery.  The stitching being so close together gives the optical effect as if it was machine-made. The “picado” designs are varied but traditionally they produce flowers of different sizes. The most characteristic garments of this region are blouses and dresses for women.

San Cristobal de las Casas takes its designs beyond the traditional betting for the contemporary with a great variety of much more functional modern Mexican garments.  The embroidery designs are simple; “grecas” or flowers that certainly make incredible hand-made embroidered garments.  To accompany these beautiful pieces wear them with nice shoe platforms and a super cute bag.  You will look perfect for any event from a party to a movie.

Aguacatenango and Amatenango del Valle are neighboring towns and by their proximity they make similar designs of embroidered garments.  The former is the origin of this technique and design, but the latter is better known in the area because of the population size. They produce beautiful blouses that will make you fall in love. The embroidery is special of the area.  They use a technique called rococo to create unique designs.  The blouses usually come in super thin and soft cotton manta (blanket) and they hand-make every detail, including the seams of the sides; a garment that will impress you.

Over the years, the making of Chiapas traditional clothing has been preserved in the indigenous peoples of these regions, made exclusively by women who, at an early age, start with a waistband.  It has become the most important economic activity for some families rescuing and preserve this ancestral tradition.


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