The Most Amazing Art to See at Centinela Traditional Arts

It’s no secret that the Southwest has some of the most intricate and gorgeous woven works in the world! If you love to admire Mexican-inspired tapestries that are full of color and personality, then a visit to the Centinela Traditional Arts is a must! This gallery in Chimayo hosts hundreds of traditionally woven tapestries and wool products that you can admire and even purchase to bring home with you!

Chimayo Weaving History

In 1540, nearly 5,000 churro sheep accompanied Coronado and his men during his famous expedition. Since the sheep were valued more for their wool than as food, the settlers established them in New Mexico as their flocks. In 1840, when blankets were in high demand from nearby trading partners, tens of thousands of woolen blankets were shipped from New Mexico. The highly popular creations became known as the Rio Grande blanket. This was a general term that encompassed the weaving traditions of Hispanic New Mexico.  

Yet, in the 1880’s, new breeds of sheep with inferior wool and negative changes to lumber looms made the blankets plummet in value. When mill-woven blankets took over the industry, the Rio Grande weavers fell off the map. Nonetheless, they continued their weaving efforts to make blankets for their families and friends! In the early 1900s, weavers from Santa Fe started a new blanket style that simply consisted of two stripes and a center design. This became known as the “Chimayo Design,” and it began a brand new industry for the weavers. This style is apparent in most of the blankets displayed in Centinela Traditional Arts and is widely recognized throughout the nation.

Things to See in Centinela Traditional Arts

Weavings/Blankets

The designs you’ll find in many of the blankets at Centinela Traditional Arts have been used to decorate shelves, tables chairs, couches, and beds. They come in many different patterns, colors, designs, and sizes ranging from 15×30 to 54×84. You’ll be sure to find the perfect one to accent your home or just keep you warm.

Rugs

Rugs with the Chimayo design have become very popular over the past few years. Whether you’re looking for a hall runner, a small accent rug, or a colorful rag rug, the Centinela Traditional Arts has plenty for you to choose from.

Pillows

These decorative pillows feature some of the best Chimayo weaving designs. The best part is, they all are made of soft wool. Wouldn’t you love resting your head on some of the world’s most comforting material?

Purses

Make a statement with a vintage Chimayo weaving purse! From eyeglass cases, large hauling bags, coin purses, and small totes, these lovely pieces of art are the perfect accessory. They also come in many different colors such as turquoise, green, cardinal, and beige.

Scarves and Wraps

Another great accessory, these stylish and irresistibly soft scarves/wraps keep you warm while giving you an elegant look. They are made by some of the most creative fiber artists in the industry, so you know you’re only getting the best!

There is so much more to see at the Centinela Traditional Arts! Visit their website to find out more about what you’ll find, their traditional styles, and the weavers!

Take in Chimayo’s Rich History and Culture During Your Stay at Casa Escondida

Chimayo is a beautiful and enchanting town nestled within one of the most beautiful regions in New Mexico. Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and rich history at our charming bed and breakfast inn. Along with our eco-friendly guestrooms, you will also enjoy peaceful ambiance in our secluded setting and a deliciously traditional breakfast. Take a look at our nearby attractions to start planning your New Mexico getaway!

Photo Credit: terry6970/Thinkstock