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2016 Interior Design Trends — Guatemalan Textiles

The final instalment of our favourite trends for 2016 is the introduction of vibrant Guatemalan textiles into home decor and  interior design. We  hope you have enjoyed reading this series as much as we have enjoyed writing it. Don’t forget to leave your comments or get in touch with NDA on Twitter.

Handwoven Fabrics

This trend is taking inspiration from colourful Guatemalan textiles and fabrics. The art of weaving these beautiful fabrics has been part of the Maya people of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Belize for thousands of years and are a significant part of the Maya culture and their religious beliefs.

The Maya Tradition Foundation was founded in the 1980’s and is a cooperative that works closely alongside indigenous female artisans in rural villages helping these women to refine their arts and receive a fair price for their work, whilst building communities and improving education for their children.

maya traditions guatemalan fabrics

The above images give you an insight into the artisans from the cooperative La Voz de los Tz’utujiles in  San Juan, a small town in the department of Sololá, Guatemala on the south west edge of Lake Atitlán.

1—since 1995 this cooperative has grown from 16 to 27 women who specialise in Ikat design, Backstrap weaving and sewing.

2, 3a & 3b—demonstrating the Backstrap weaving technique using colourful hand dyed natural threads. These colours represent nature, sky and water and the purity and blood of Tz’utujil women.

4a & 4b—indigenous Mayan blouses called ‘Huipiles’ for sale in the market of Panajachel.  These traditional blouses have decorative design details around the neckline.

5a & 5b—the markets stalls are adorned with colourful and beautifully hand crafted fabrics which are used to make scarves and bags.

Inspiration from Guatemala and Maya traditions

British interior brand A Rum Fellow introduces collections based on the countries they have explored, so for 2016 Guatemala and its Maya traditions are their focus. This Maya collection comprises of sofas, chairs, cushions and lampshades with upholstery fabrics taking after tribal tapestry designs from the region.

Founders Dylan O’Shea and Caroline Lindsell travelled around Central and South America and took inspirations from the vibrant colours and patterns of these designs.  They have worked closely with the tribal craftswomen from a number of villages in Guatemala, where each design is unique to where it is made.  They have produced a range of patterns using the traditional Ikat process whereby thread is knotted, dyed and loomed all by hand. UK-based furniture makers and upholsters then use these fabrics to craft this bespoke Maya Collection.

A rum fellow guatemalan fabrics

Maya Collections:

  1. Cumatz 2 Seater
  2. Tecun chair
  3. Caterina Ikat Wing Chair
  4. Maya Collection Cushions LHR

Adding Guatemalan textiles to your space

If you are unsure of how to apply colour to a space or you don’t have the confidence to use colour on a much grander scale then these beautiful woven fabrics might be the answer. Cushions are a simple and effective way of introducing colour, patterns and textures into a room. Try scattering a range of different sized and shaped cushions using a mix of contemporary fabrics and Guatemalan designs to brighten up an old looking sofa.  Alternatively a single cushion can be used to liven up a plain looking armchair.

Once your confidence starts to develop you can use these fabrics as a starting point for a whole new colour scheme. A single colour can be taken from one of the designs and used to create a painted feature wall or select 2 or 3 colours and use these to start introducing other colourful accessories into the room such as vases, throws, rugs and artwork.

Now that spring is only around the corner we are starting to think about the coming months, the warmer weather and spending more time outdoors. Garden furniture can be brightened up and made more comfortable with the addition of these colourful cushions or why not throw a blanket on the grass and pile up the cushions to create a comfortable lounging picnic area.

These beautiful cushions have been made using a combination of contemporary and vintage ‘Huipil’ fabrics and trimmed with colourful pompoms and beading:

cushion guatamalan fabrics interior design trends  bright cushions interior design trends 2016  bright cushions interior design trends 2016

These backstrap woven lengths of fabrics are ideal as table runners. The muted pink, green and blue tones work really well with this chucky wooden table. Bolder colours work really well when used in conjunction with a contemporary white gloss dining table or over the top of a crisp white linen table cloth. Simple white crockery will allow these colours to really stand out.

bold table runner interior design trends 2016  table runner pom poms  woven table runner interior design

Reviving traditions

Some of us might have inherited a patchwork blanket or throw from a grandparent or relative. Why not consider reviving this traditonal sewing craft and create your own patchwork throw, this can then be passed down through your own family. The image on the right shows how vintage pieces of Huipil woven fabrics showing different designs have been pieced together to create an exciting combination of colours and patterns. Not only will these keep you warm in the cold winter nights but will inject colour into your bedroom during these darker months. The throws look beautiful in both traditional and contemporary bedrooms and work perfectly alongside crisp white bedlinen to showcase each of the colours.

guatemalan bed throw interior design  guatemalan patchwork throw interior design

Get involved in the conversation and tell us how you are introducing vibrant textiles into your interiors, inspired by the Guatemalan traditions.

Interior design trends for 2016

This concludes our 4 part series on trends set for 2016, where we have taken a look at contemporary takes on the 1970s style, use of the ornate Delft blue style patterns, a pantone colour palette of Rose Quartz and Serenity, and finally these beautiful Guatemalan textiles. Feel free to share this series if you enjoyed it and stay tuned for the latest in interior design news, trends and topics on the NDA blog.

Image References

Maya Traditions Foundation (unknown) Artisans [online image]. Available from: [Assessed 29/02/2016]

Maya Traditions Foundation (unknown) Backstrap techniques [online image]. Available from:  [Assessed 29/02/2016]

Maya Traditions Foundation (unknown) Techniques [online image]. Available from:  [Assessed 29/02/2016]

Maya Traditions Foundation (unknown) Techniques [online image]. Available from:  [Assessed 29/02/2016]

FreeYork (2016) Guatemalan fabrics [online image]. Available from:

Alto (2016) Guatemalan collection [online image]. Available from:

Pintrest (unknown) white backstrap cushion [online image]. Available from:

Pintrest (unknown) Guatemalan cushions [online image]. Available from:

Pintrest (unknown) Guatemalan cushions with pom pom [online image]. Available from:

Pintrest (unknown) table runner [online image]. Available from:

Pintrest (unknown)blue and red table runner [online image]. Available from:

Pintrest (unknown) pomp om table runner [online image]. Available from:

Houzz (2014) bedspread [online image]. Available from:


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