Chancay Open Weave Darning (Peru)

Detail of a piece of Chancay open weave darning (c. 900 to 1430 AD). Detail of a piece of Chancay open weave darning (c. 900 to 1430 AD). Copyright Trustees of the British Museum, London, acc. no. Am1907,0319.95.

Chancay open weave darning is a form of darned embroidery, in which the open weave gauze ground is decorated using both thick and thin white cotton threads. The outlines of the individual motifs are worked into the gauze ground. They are made with a thick thread that is looped and/or worked around the ground mesh intersections using a long stem stitch.

The thin embroidery threads are worked in zig-zag lines with a small loop around the intersection of the ground meshes, at the top and bottom of the triangles that are being created. Sometimes a second zig-zag line is worked parallel to the first, creating a series of irregular diamonds. They are applied inside the outlines of the individual motifs and are thus filling in the motifs.

This type of embroidery was carried out by people of the Chancay culture in Peru and dates from about 900 – 1430. The Chancay people lived in various valleys along the coast of central Peru. The production of ceramics and especially textiles, including embroidered cloth, was an important part of Chancay life.

See also the TRC Needles entry on Cats and fishes. Chancay open weave darning.

British Museum online catalogue (retrieved 18th July 2016).


Last modified on Sunday, 18 June 2017 11:24