Spanish Colcha By Francis Graves, ca. 1960s


Handmade by Francis Graves

23″ x 24″

Colcha, the Spanish word for bed covering, refers to a Spanish Colonial style needlework used centuries ago in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. The colcha stitch was originally used to cover the seam of two pieces of loose plain-weave cloth, sabanilla, joined to make a bedspread. The colcha embroidery technique couches long or short laying stitches to create large pictorials or scattered motifs. It’s common in the historical and contemporary style of San Luis Valley colcha artists to cover the entire surface of the fabric with embroidery. Traditionally, wool from the hardy Churro sheep brought by the Spanish provided yarn to weave the sabanilla as well as the yarn for the embroidery itself. Colcha embroiderers dyed yarn with yellow rabbit brush, cochineal, indigo, and a variety of native plants to achieve desired color varieties.

~Piecework Magazine

1 in stock


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