Two weeks ago today we were leaving Mexico. During our 3-night stay (that you can read about over here), we did spend one morning off the resort exploring Playa Del Carmen. The town itself a great tourist trap, and not surprisingly, where we made the bulk of our souvenir purchases.
Oh look. Just me sweating my butt off at the puerto. Note to the ladies: loose cotton shift dress from J.Crew. Will not cling. The pattern will not show sweat. Makes humidity bearable.
It should come to no surprise that I was looking for bargains and limited by suitcase space (we shared a single carry-on to avoid the whole checking-bags headache). Before leaving, I had wild mexican dreams of bringing home a few phenomenally embroidered tapestries like these, although I knew they would be expensive. Would have made a nice throw, or a pop of color as a bed coverlet, right? Maybe next time.
During our walk up and down 5th avenue, the main touristy strip of PDC, pile of textiles outside one of the shops caught my eye (and were without a doubt within my budget, marked in a sale pile for $4 USD). We inspected few of the products (sized like a 3’x5′ carpet) trying to figure out if they were intended to be. Wall decor? For floor use? Blankets? Wearable wools? All of those things? We’re clearly not seasoned mexican travelers or well-exposed to authentic materials. In any case, our mind went to making the textile floorable, so I bought one in a blue/gray woven knit to use as an accent piece in our bedroom, where it’s happily already taken up residence. That wrinkly, wrinkly bed.
You see, the big reason it’s in there is because after the great bed switch, the beloved West Elm Pebble Rug was providing less coverage than it had been. Mostly, this was due to the size of the queen bed, because we really loved the carpet and wanted to optimize how much of it was showing in the room. So while the rug runs along the whole front of the bed and part of each side, not so much shown in these pictures, we had a small space to fill between it and the dresser right about where my feet land on the wood floor every morning.
It’s not a problem in this summer heat, but during the winter I do favor stepping onto something cushy and not cold and hard, so I had been on the lookout for something that would complement the existing pebble rug that I still love so much. Similar colors, different texture, different patterns, and this winning Mexican textile is all of that. It’s a nice mix of modern and classically-authentic (we think) when pulled together, so on the floor it will stay.
The carpet width was also ideal for the tight gap between the dresser and box spring, so the edges do tuck securely underneath both pieces of furniture (score!) so that the lightweight weave (which really does need a carpet pad) doesn’t move around very much or wrinkle underfoot. Yes, there are still some creases from the original folds. I’m thinking that should have been ironed first.
Having only spent $4 on my “carpet,” I allowed myself a second souvineer, of course, it was not (and still is not) seasonably appropriate, nor does it remind me highly of Mexico because I know I have a similar one from Gap circa 2001, but it’s a big wool scarf. And I’m a girl who likes scarves.
Or was it narrow carpet runner. Or towel? Honestly, not totally sure, but I started sweating .5 seconds after draping this thing around myself in the store. Seems scarfy to me. Pendleton scarfy.
Humidity + Mexico + Wool = not pleasant, but I thought it would be great in NY during the 6-month season of chill. It was only $9 USD, and I further justified the spend by deciding that I couldn’t put a textile I sweated on that much back on the rack.
Added bonus: Very cozy.
Additionally, and you already saw this, we picked up an ornament for our Christmas tree, since I’ve always liked a tree covered in brightly colored, memory-inducing treasures. I’m especially fond of the sparkle.
Not that I’ve done an extensive online search yet, but I’m sure most of these items are also available directly from the sources (or the popular wholesalers like bmexico.com who were infused into each of the Playa del Carmen shops). While not direct, Sunshine Yoga showed up in one of my early searches, promoting their similar products as mexican blankets (totally not rugs), and as much as I’d love to directly fuel the mexican economy, these hammocks sold via The Mexican Hammock Company in the UK are pretty.
If anyone has recommendations for wholesalers and online shops native to Mexico, please, please leave a comment with more info