Marina wearing “Come don’t count the hours/ Ελα μη μετρας την ωρα” huipil
When I first arrived in Italy, it was not uncommon to see older women crocheting to make “centrini” (Italian doilies) or trim for tablecloths. In the villages women would sit in groups outside their doorways and talk as they crocheted together. Somewhat like a sewing bee.
Doilies were not just decorative. They were also used to protect furniture. Large rectangular shapes were used to safeguard the arms and neck rests of armchairs and sofas whereas the “centrini” were used to protect table tops.
It was once tradition for a young woman to prepare her trousseau and, with the help of her, would make linens adorned with embroidery and crocheted trim.
Then tastes and habits changed. Technology took over and homemade crafts were no longer appreciated so many of these crocheted objects were donated to charities. At the outdoor market near my studio in Rome, you can often find secondhand counters selling used linens and homemade crocheted objects. I try to buy them as often as possible to use them to make huipiles.
The Muy Marcottage huipil “Ελα μη μετρας την ωρα” (which roughly translates as “come don’t count the hours”) is made from second hand doilies and a very lovely vintage pillowcase.