Friday, January 24, 2014

Current Obsession: Hmong Embroidery

Actually, a more accurate title would reflect my ongoing obsession with this age-old textile art.

I've been collecting purses and bags made from what I assume is new and re-purposed Hmong embroidery even before I knew what the style was. The beautiful vibrant colors and interesting geometric patterns are what drew me in.

These accessories provide an instant color pop to any outfit. But what makes them truly striking is the story behind them.

According to, a site that exhibits Hmong embroidery pieces, the technique was traditionally used by the Hmong people to decorate clothing and make it bright and beautiful. It was passed down from mothers to daughters.

When the Hmong people lived in China long ago, they weren't allowed to use their own written language, so the women began disguising the symbols as embroidered patterns on their skirts, the website states. Over time, the language was lost, so the original messages can't be translated.

I love wearing something that has such a mysterious history!

Do you have any Hmong embroidery pieces? Tell me in the comments.

Outfit Details:
Hmong Embroidered Bag and Quartz Ring from Earthbound Trading Company
Cubus Blouse (old; fashion souvenir from a 2011 trip to Finland)
Go Fish Clothing Shoes (old)
Antiqued Brass Hot Air Balloon Steam Punk Necklace from Etsy shop DreaminSteam
Francesca's Earrings (in store only; similar at The Silver Seahorse)

Outfit photos by my sweet fiance, Matt

This post contains Urban Outfitters affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you click on them and make a purchase.


  1. That is an awesome history behind it! Who knows what stories you're wearing.

    1. I totally agree! So pretty and mysterious. :)