Otomi Textiles

Otomi textiles are a perfect way to pull out all the stops and splash around a riot of colour. Made by the Otomi indigenous peoples of the central plateau of Mexico, the traditional brightly embroidered fabrics feature red and orange, green and pink, turquoise and navy flowers, birds and animals parading across a pristine white ground, and will inject fun and playfulness and just a dash of fairytale intrigue into kids’ rooms.

Right now, Otomi textiles epitomize lush summer colour and tropical warmth, but in several months’ time they’ll also be great for helping us shake off any winter doldrums.

I love this Moorish arch-style headboard upholstered in vibrant fabric.

This classic shot from the late, great Cookie magazine (left) may have initiated the most recent craze for Otomi fabrics. If you’re hesitant to commit to the expense of upholstery, mount a twin- or full-size bedspread on curtain rods behind a bed for a feature wall and giant headboard in one.

Sydney, Australia, creative director/blogger/shop owner Louise Bell complemented a rainbow-bright Otomi in her son Jasper’s modern room with artfully arranged picture book spines and a vintage-style toy car.

A bright pink Otomi bedspread is mixed with like-minded fabrics in this girl’s bedroom by Charleston, S.C., architect Heather Wilson.


I am always partial to a rainbow of colour and pattern in a child’s room and would model a whole room after the multihued Otomi palette. But if you like a sparer look, try a single injection via a lumbar pillow from Etsy shop Casa Otomi ($200). 

…or a framed Otomi-inspired print, like this one from Etsy shop ScoutandLilly ($18).

A rich embroidered Otomi bedspread (this one is from Etsy shop from YucuNinu) cheers up even the most sedate space.


I love Peter W. Gilroy’s Otomi-upholstered ottoman ($790), handcrafted in Taos, N.M.

I’d toss a couple of these 24″ x 24″ poufs from Casa Otomi ($148) in the corner of one of my girls’ rooms to cushion a cosy reading corner, or keep a pile in a playroom/TV room for flopping down on during movies or Wii games.

If you’re feeling particularly crafty, try this more advanced DIY project by Brooklyn-based artist/textile designer Lena Corwin. She patterned a dresser in Otomi-inspired images, a project reviewed in her book, Printing By Hand (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2008).

And last, but definitely not least, if you’re feeling superposh, stitch together a couple of these Hermès carre scarves to cover a silky throw pillow. It’ll be luxe and lively!

Photo credits:
1. Project Nursery blog
2. From Bali with love blog (left) and Undecorate blog
3. Table Tonic blog
4. Heather Wilson
5. Etsy Casa Otomi
6. Etsy ScoutandLilly
7. Etsy YucuNinu
8. Peter Gilroy
9. Etsy Case Otomi
10. Apartment Therapy
11. San Diego Red

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