There has been much excitement in the UK about the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo ever since the major exhibition Frida Kahlo – Making Herself Up opened at the V&A back in June 2018. And the exhibition is great; a fascinating and insightful mixture of her public works and her private possessions, artefacts never seen outside Mexico before. The exhibition runs until November but is pretty much sold out, with just a few tickets available from the museum on the day.
Meanwhile, here in Edinburgh we have been inspired by Frida since our first trip to Mexico back in 2001. Her image and style surrounds us in our shop in Stockbridge, Edinburgh and we are always delighted to introduce her to a new audience.
Frida’s keep her eye on us, above our collection of Otomi embroidered blouses
Kahlo’s dramatic style suits reproduction and in both our shops online and in store we carry a range of products featuring her striking image.
Frida Retablos on display in the Caoba shop in Stockbridge, Edinburgh
Viva Frida. Detail from the Alexander Henry fabric of the same name
Viva Frida! Shopping bag available from our Stockbridge shop and online store
El Superstar Destructor stands proud on a large cushion cover
Californian-based Alexander Henry Fabrics produce some of the most highly sought-after printed textiles around and are still quite difficult to find in the UK. So when we saw their Mexican-inspired Folklorico collection we knew what we had to do…
We’ve cherry-picked the brightest and the wittiest of the designs, including dancing skeletons, masked wrestlers (Lucha Libre) and sparkling sugar skulls, all printed on high quality 100% cotton.
Recently added are two laminated cottons; perfect for tablecloths for the kitchen or Mexican themed barbecues (Scottish weather permitting).
Our selection from the Folklorico Collection
All the fabrics are 110cm wide and sold by the half or full metre both online and in the shop, so you can buy samples for crafts or longer lengths for making unique clothing or homewares. But there is no need to worry if you don’t sew; many of the prints are also available in the Stockbridge shop as aprons and cushion covers, made in Edinburgh, exclusively for Caoba.
A Caoba apron, worn with pride
One of the range of Mexican candles in Caoba
One of the most popular images within our shop and website range is the Virgin of Guadalupe. At the time of writing she appears on a novena candle, an Alexander Henry fabric design and a wooden retablo.
But it would be hard to conceive of a time when she is not represented in Caoba in some way, even if it is down to the customers to bring in their own!
A stunning tattoo on the arm of a Caoba customer
Also known as Our Lady of Guadalupe, this famous portrait shows the image of the Virgin Mary imprinted on a tilma or cape.
One December morning in 1531 Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin was visited by an appearance of the Virgin Mary in the guise of a young girl, who asked him to deliver a request to the Bishop to build a church on the spot where they stood. Juan Diego obeyed but found the Bishop unwilling to believe such a lowly individual. After three further requests over the next few days Juan Diego finally brought to the Bishop his bundled tilma filled with beautiful Castilian roses; roses he had been directed to pick by the young girl. As the roses tumbled out from the cape at the Bishop’s feet, he and all others in the room fell to their knees in adoration… There, imprinted on the tilma was the beautiful image of the Virgin Mary Juan Diego had described.
The tilma still survives in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico city.