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Nativity Arpillera - World Folk Art - Find Stained Gourds, Metal Wall Hangings, and more

Museum Foundation

World Folk Art

Nativity Arpillera


An absolutely fabulous folk art representation of the Christmas story with the Holy Family and three kings to bring the spirit of Christmas home.  Fabrics of many colors and textures are used to make this arpillera nativity scene, a traditional Peruvian craft.  Brightly-colored patchwork pictures, hand stitched and hand appliquéd, embroidered on burlap fabric.  Add brilliant color and wonderfully tactile detail to your holiday home.

Hand-quilting an arpillera, which in Spanish means burlap or sackcloth, takes skill, patience and much imagination. To make each art quilt, the artisan begins by cutting scraps of material and hand-stitching them layer by layer to create a unique landscape. Next, cutouts of animals, trees, houses, etc., are stuffed with a technique called “trapunto.” Dolls are made with colored fabrics, while flowers and other fine details are hand-stitched and embroidered onto the landscape to complete each scene.

The Arpillera folk art tradition began in the early 1970's, when social upheaval in Peru pushed entire Andean communities to migrate to the city. People abandoned their land, home, crops and animals for settlements in the outskirts of Lima. In search of safety and economic stability, they found something far different. Families were forced to start from scratch. Thanks to their skilled hands and a sense of tradition and creativity, many women from these new communities learned a new skill with the help of German missionaries. Working from home, they could now use this marketable craft to generate income for their families while tending their children.

Each Nativity Scene arpillera is unique and a one-of-kind piece.

Item # OP ARP-12B
Dimensions 19 3/4" x 17 3/4"
Ships within: 5 Days