Lekazia Turner, embroiderer from Jamaica, 2022

Martha Carrión Jaulis supported by MANTAS Y TRENZAS
PERU | 2019

SECTION OF DRESS: Traditional Floral motifs

Martha, drawn to embroidery from a very young age – used to stitch in secret on old blouses, copying designs she saw around the house.

The text below is written by Maria Carrión Jaulis, founder of Mantas Y Trenzas:

“ It was in 2012 Huamanga, Ayacucho - Peru; that blankets and braids are created in a context where the image of women began to strengthen in economic activities, we seek that the embroidery that women in the communities do is strengthened and considered as a job that generates income for the family. That is why I, Maria Carrión Jaulis a textile artisan, together with the women of the peasant communities, began to work textile products with handmade embroidery.

Ayacucho embroidery is characterized by being used in the typical clothes of the Ayacucho communities that represent an art of coexistence with nature. Since their designs are generally floral, this traditional clothing was what prompted us to use the embroidery technique in the elaboration of textile handicraft products and we also encourage the work of women with their artistic skills so that they contribute economically to their family basket.

For the Red Dress Project, the artisan who made the embroidery was Martha, who is in charge of improving the embroidery stitches so that the work is finished well. She worked with great patience and detail each part of the embroidery that was applied on the fabric, it was a new experience because she had never worked the embroidery on a silk fabric, at the same time she gained a new experience in the embroidery on a fabric that is very thin and smooth in texture.

Martha Carrión Jaulis was born in Huamanga on December 15, 1979, in the community of Tocyaslla - Socos, Huamanga – Ayacucho. From a very young age she was very observant, from the age of 7 she practiced embroidering using any thread and she mentions:

“I saw embroidery, its colours and stitch techniques on the tablecloths at home, I started to like that and I started trying to copy it without know what embroidery stitch did, I just wanted to embroider something similar”.

All this work was done in secret from the mother because she did not want to spoil any fabric, so Martha used old blouses and whatever thread she found at home, so she practiced her embroidery because she could not stay without doing anything.

The design for the Red Dress is the characteristic representation of Ayacucho embroidery; it shows its origins in the garments worn by women in the communities with the warm colors that distinguish it. This project, the red dress, reminded us that we must always maintain the colors and the concept of Ayacucho embroidery, we are happy to know that the art of Ayacucho women is valued in various parts of the world. We appreciate being part of this great adventure and we will always be willing to contribute our craft work to future events.”

MANTAS Y TRENZAS, embroidery made art.

To contact Martha for commisions, please write to Maria at: mantasytrenzas@gmail.com


A huge thank you to all who have given their time, energy, enthusiasm, advice, experience and financial support to the Red Dress project over the years.

In addition to the institutions below, funding has been gratefully received from a number of private donations and 441 individuals around the world via 2 Crowdfunding campaigns in 2020 and 2022.

Nothing expresses more eloquently the feelings I suspect we share about the importance of embroidery in our lives, and the support we derive from the friendships made through stitch, than Kirstie Macleod’s Red Dress.
Caroline Zoob, Editor of Stitchers Journal 2022
This beautiful object highlights the common ground between individuals, bringing together different identities and uniting people, we are honoured to contribute to it.
Tiny Kox, PACE President at the Council of Europe, Strasbourg 2023
The Red Dress has become an icon of the international textile world.
Suzanne Smith, Textile Society 2022
The Red Dress in its final incarnation, a magnificent, regal robe, symbolises the empowerment of women through the creation of something beautiful, something which began with bowed heads and tired fingers but also with faith and joy, an openness and willingness to be a part of something which they could not see at that time but in which they could believe had meaning and worth connecting with other women around the world.
Lady Alison Myners, Chair of the Royal Academy Trust 2020
The Red Dress is in some respects similar to Mail Art, the populist artistic movement centred on sending small scale works through the postal service. It initially developed out of the Fluxus movement in the 1950s and 60s – but on a larger scale – the journey of the work is part of its identity, process, and in fact function. A signifier of the temporal and physical nature of the process inherent in the creation of the piece. The surface of the dress layered with embroidery slowly transforming into a specific topographical map – completely particular to the work’s journey – and reflective of the burgeoning sculptural landscape of the object.
Paul Black, Artlyst 2015
It’s her (Kirstie’s) red silk Dupion bodice and voluminous skirt created for the Red Dress that fully demonstrates her commitment to embroidery and the immense respect for the international community of makers.
Denna Jones. Embroidery Magazine 2010
...the fact that they could embroider what they wanted and that it is appreciated has given them some strength, some confidence that I didn’t feel so strongly before they created the embroideries.
Nicole Esselan, Founder of Kisany Africa, supporting artisans in DR CONGO and RWANDA who created embroidery on the Red Dress in 2018
This is both an extraordinary work of collective art and profound and eloquent social commentary. It is also an example of how potent the Attire language is capable of becoming.
Attires Mind (Fashion Blogger) 2020
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